Whanganui District Council says it will ask for a vaccine pass to be shown to get into most of its venues- including libraries - under the Covid-19 Protection Framework red setting.
New Zealand Glassworks, Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui, the Whanganui War Memorial Centre, the Royal Whanganui Opera House (excluding the box office) and the Cooks Gardens Function Centre will all require a My Vaccine Pass for entry.
From Monday, a My Vaccine Pass will be required to enter the council libraries.
These are the Davis, Alexander, Gonville and the mobile libraries. The libraries will have online a contactless Book & Collect service, offered to the public during Covid-19 lockdowns, under the traffic light setting.
The Splash centre will be open under the red traffic light setting, with the usual Covid-19 sign-in measures required and people encouraged to book online at splashcentre.co.nz.
From Wednesday, December 15, a My Vaccine Pass will be required to enter.
Animal management services will continue to operate under the red traffic light setting, with entry to the Animal Pound restricted to one person at a time and people encouraged to book online.
For council outdoor parks, playgrounds, public toilets, the aviary, Winter Gardens and cemeteries, a My Vaccine Pass is not required for entry unless the park is being used for a community event. Council staff are looking at protocols for such events and more information is to come.
Whanganui District Council interim chief executive Lance Kennedy said the framework is intended to help protect both at-risk people and our health system from an unsustainable number of hospitalisations due to Covid-19.
"At red, we are all asked to continue the safety measures and Covid-19 protocols we have all become so familiar with. The council is no different in this regard and we ask all visitors to council buildings to please carry on record keeping or scanning in with the Covid-19 tracer app, sanitising and wearing face coverings," he said.
The council was carefully working through any new protocols and what they would mean under the red setting, Kennedy said.
"We understand that services like rates and entry into council facilities will be top of mind for Whanganui residents in terms of getting on with our day-to-day lives."
Many council services such as rates payments, dog registrations, building and planning services can be accessed online by visiting whanganui.govt.nz online services.
"We understand that some people prefer to get things done in person and we welcome that," Kennedy said.
"Residents can still visit customer services about rates. For many of our other services we encourage people simply to get in touch with us first on the phone (06 349 0001). This will help us accommodate people's needs and provide our services in a safe way."
Kennedy said the red traffic light setting will see some differing entry protocols in place across council facilities.
"We are working to make things clear for everyone. For entry into some council facilities and venues, a My Vaccine Pass for people aged 12 and over will be required."
Whanganui District Council's general manager of people and performance, Catherine Dutton, said council staff provide services right across the community.
"We are considering putting measures in place to keep our employees and the people they work with safe," she said.
"As an employer, the council is considering whether our staff need to be fully vaccinated. We have begun consultation with all staff around the implementation of an organisational policy that would require all our staff to be fully vaccinated."
Whanganui mayor Hamish McDouall is being kept closely informed of the council's operational protocols under the Covid-19 protection framework.
"The traffic lights may feel like a new system for all of us, but remember many of the things we need to do as a community remain the same – your health is important, the health of everyone in our community is important," he said.
"Please, follow the safety measures we have all been so carefully sticking to – sign in, wear your mask. And if you feel unwell, stay home and call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5433."