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Guidance on safe operations for community food service providers

Organisations that are providing or delivering food and other essential goods (e.g. foodbanks, food rescue, food parcels) can operate under all traffic light settings, providing they can follow guidance outlined on the Unite against COVID-19 website and our own MSD general guidance for providers.

MSD guidance for social services providers

Unite against COVID-19

We are currently working at pace to produce guidance for how community food services can operate safely at different traffic light settings. This will be available soon.

Access to food and essential items

The Government’s COVID-19 website includes useful public information on how to access food as well as a useful downloadable factsheet. This outlines the various channels through which people can access food, including supermarkets, grocery deliveries, meal services etc. Sharing this factsheet will help to reduce pressure on your services.

COVID-19 Protection Framework

From 3 December 2021, the COVID-19 Protection Framework (CPF) or 'traffic light' system replaces the Alert Level system.

COVID-19 Protection Framework (CPF) – Unite Against COVID-19

Key considerations for community kai services

Ensure that you are up to date with the latest COVID-19 guidance at:

The following procedures are recommended to ensure the safety of your clients and staff:

  • Move to a contactless service, this includes deliveries
  • Food deliveries should be kept local
  • Limit the number of people on site so everyone can follow distancing requirements
  • Offer flexible working arrangements, for example, staggered meal breaks, or staggered start and finish times to help with physical distancing
  • Clean and disinfect your workplace regularly
  • Provide employees with hand washing facilities
  • Ensure contract tracing for all staff and clients
  • Follow appropriate PPE and face covering requirements for staff, volunteers and clients
  • Ensure vulnerable staff and volunteers stay home
  • Consider replacing volunteer roles with redeployed paid staff
  • Ensure that all staff and volunteers have access to your business continuity plan and are well briefed on the new procedures.

These procedures may be updated as further guidance is received from Ministry of Health.

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Latest information

Prepare and stay safe – Unite against COVID-19

Please note the following:

  • organisations should continue to accumulate stocks of PPE through normal commercial channels as part of their business continuity and emergency planning
  • in many instances where face coverings are mandatory for business and services, a reusable face mask or another form of face covering (e.g. a scarf) is sufficient
  • if you are not able to access the PPE you need to deliver services, please contact your relationship manager to discuss how we can help
  • please inform individuals and families you are working with about the alternatives to using a disposable face mask.

Mandatory vaccinations and exemptions

On Friday 5 November the Government made a law change to amend the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Amendment Order (No 3) 2021 that came out on 25 October, by introducing the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Required Testing and Vaccinations) Amendment Order 2021. This Health Order came into effect at 11.59pm on Sunday 7 November 2021.

Key points to note are:

  • Certain categories of persons covered by the mandate for the education, health, disability and corrections sectors have been refined.
  • The ability to apply for an exemption from a mandatory vaccination has changed and although a number of people have received an ‘exemption’ from a medical practitioner, the process is now going to be centralised through the Ministry of Health.
  • Health and disability workers and education workers are required to have their first doses by 15 November 2021. If they have been granted an exemption under the Order that came into force 25 October 2021 this will be void from 8 November 2021 when the amended Order comes into effect and they to apply for an exemption under the new process.
  • Employers in these affected sectors must maintain a vaccine register
  • The dates for mandatory vaccination for those working in the education, health and disability sectors are 15 November for the first vaccination and 1 January 2022 for the second.

Latest information

COVID-19 vaccines – Ministry of Health NZ

COVID-19 vaccinations and work – Unite against COVID-19 (covid19.govt.nz)

Making contact with us

Our Food Secure Communities Team is here to support you with any queries or questions you have.

If you have any queries about the latest amendment to the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Amendment Order (No 3) 2021 and the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Required Testing and Vaccinations) Amendment Order 2021, please email healthorders@health.govt.nz.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your relationship manager or contact us here: foodsecure@msd.govt.nz

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