Emphasis remains on reducing transmission of Covid-19, rather than vaccination status, at the Waitaki District Council.
Rules around the use of vaccine passes and other regulations at council offices and facilities were reviewed on Wednesday, following the Government’s move to Red under the Covid-19 traffic light system.
Vaccine passes were not required for entry to any council-owned premises, except the Oamaru Opera House.
On Wednesday, the council executive team met with managers of each facility, who presented their recommendations after carrying out risk analysis for their respective premises, Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said.
The Aquatic Centre had been an area of concern, and while Mr Kircher was personally in favour of the vaccine pass being mandated at the centre, it was ‘‘generally a management decision’’.
‘‘Elected members still have an overall responsibility for health and safety, albeit it’s the CEO who has the operational decision making on the health and safety measures.’’
Acting council chief executive Lisa Baillie said the council reviewed its position any time there were changes to the Covid-19 situation.
‘‘What we’ve been working through since before Christmas, and still continue to do so, is risk-assessing all of our positions across council, and that then is the information we would use to make decisions on . . . whether or not we require vaccine entry into our buildings,’’ Mrs Baillie said.
‘‘Personally, I don’t think adding that vaccine entry requirement now puts any additional protective measures in for the people.
‘‘The key measures that we’re really pushing, and this is something that we’ll ramp up within our staff and our facilities, are the five things that are actually going to make a difference in transmission. So, that is mask-wearing, social distancing, hand-washing, sanitising and not coming to work if you’re unwell.’’
It was a decision that would be reviewed constantly as the situation evolved, and measures could be ‘‘escalated’’ if needed.
The council had faced a mixed reaction from the public on its stance.
‘‘I imagine it’s going to be hard to keep everybody happy,’’ Mrs Baillie said.
‘‘We’re certainly not the only ones out there making this decision.’’
Updates would be posted on the council’s website.