Covid-19 NZ: Government will require new vaccine certificates for summer festival attendees

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said the Kiwis will need to get vaccinated this month if they are to attend big events over the summer.

His government unveils its vaccine certificate plan and says vaccines might also be needed to get to hospitality places like bars and restaurants.

The government will seek to enforce its use for large festivals and create a legal framework for organizers who are not mandated to use the system if they so choose. However, he ruled out its use for essential services like supermarkets, universities and medical services.

The vaccination certificate will be able to be printed or displayed on a cell phone, with the government wanting to launch it completely by November. A beta is already available.

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It is not integrated with the current Covid-19 application, but rather is a web application.

The pilot website currently requires people to have an “identity document” like a license or passport to register – although it also appears to allow RealMe connections, which the government authenticates separately.

A screenshot of the My Covid Record pilot site.

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A screenshot of the My Covid Record pilot site.

Health ministry staff were invited to participate in the pilot earlier this week.

The online service suggests that a “My Health Account” will be created where a vaccination certificate will eventually be generated.

Ardern admitted on Monday that the country’s goal of reaching zero cases seemed unattainable, but said the vaccine rollout would be able to protect the Kiwis.

Vaccine deployment has stalled, however, with the number of first doses falling to just 12,000 per day.

To enjoy the things people loved in the summer, they needed to get the shot now, not in December, Ardern said at Tuesday’s 1 p.m. press conference.

There have been many calls for some sort of vaccination warrant for people entering various spaces.

Ardern said the government would be comfortable with businesses like cafes or concert halls excluding the unvaccinated.

“As for other forms of hospitality – restaurants, bars, cafes, events – I think if you ask these operators” If using a vaccination certificate meant they could safely stay open would you use them, “I think a lot of them would say yes – but we’re going out and talking with the industry about that,” Ardern said.

National leader Judith Collins went further, saying she would be comfortable with any private business – including a supermarket – except the unvaccinated.

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