1 March 2022
Last week New Zealand entered Phase 3 of the Omicron outbreak. We now have thousands of new daily cases and this is expected to increase over the next month or so.
The intention of Phase 3 is to ease the pressure on Government testing and contact tracing. The focus will be on protecting the vulnerable while ensuring the health system and key supply chains remain operational and that our economy keeps moving.
The most common symptoms for the Omicron variant are a sore or scratchy throat, and a runny nose. If you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, you should continue to get tested and stay at home until you have received a negative test result.
With changes happening daily ScreenSafe will cover off the major changes as they come to hand but recommends all productions to keep informed. For regular updates please check: https://covid19.govt.nz/
The key changes are:
Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) will become the primary form of testing
You will no longer require a PCR test to confirm your COVID-19 RAT diagnosis. RATs will now be available from GPs, participating pharmacies and community collection sites (https://www.healthpoint.co.nz/covid-19/), and they are now freely available to buy online.
Only confirmed cases and their household contacts are required to isolate
People who test positive for COVID-19 and those in their households need to isolate for 10 days, but can now self-release after day 10, provided any testing and symptoms requirements are met. Household contacts must test on days 3 and 10.
If you are told you are a close contact, you do not need to isolate, but should monitor for any symptoms. Please get a test if symptoms develop.
The relaxation of close contact rules are a huge and important change for our industry as it means you do not need to shut down a whole production if any cast or crew test positive.
Please note – continued adherence to ScreenSafe Red Level guidelines is highly recommended for the safety of cast and crew and to avoid unnecessary business disruption:
- Mask wearing and good hygiene protocols is crucial
- Practice strict adherence to working bubbles
- Practice good physical distancing
- Work from home if possible
- Avoid ride-sharing
A new self-investigation tool will be launched, with contact tracing teams to focus on high-risk exposure events and locations
Positive cases will need to do their own work in regards to contact tracing. A self-investigation tool is in the works, but is not live as of today.
Vaccinated Kiwis arriving from Australia and the rest of the world will no longer need to self-isolate
From 11:59pm on Wednesday 2 March 2022, fully vaccinated New Zealanders arriving from Australia will no longer need to self-isolate.
From 11.59pm on Friday 4 March this will be extended to include fully vaccinated New Zealand travellers from the rest of the world.
* More details information will be released in the next few days.
The ScreenSafe COVID-19 Group, Email: email@example.com
Thank you to NZFC and NZOA for their funding support of these COVID-19 reviews.