New updates to face mask protocols, and new 3-phased approach to Omicron

Yesterday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that under alert setting Red, mask-use protocols will be enhanced, and these changes will be effective from 11.59pm Thursday 3rd of February.

New updates to face mask protocols that may affect your business include:

  • A face covering will need to be an actual mask and attached to the head by loops around the ears or head. This means scarves, bandannas, or t-shirts can no longer be used.
  • It is recommended to wear either a surgical mask or a mask that has 3 layers. Masks should be a secure fit. Here are some tips for making sure your mask is fitted securely.
  • Workers who are mandated by the Government to be vaccinated will need to wear a medical-grade mask when working in public facing roles. For example a Type IIR/Level 2 mask.  

In today’s COVID update, the Government announced the three phase approach to Omicron, which aims to slow down and limit the spread of an outbreak. You can view the three phased public health response here. 

In summary:

  • Phase One – This is where we are now.
  • Phase Two – Slow the spread and protect vulnerable communities.
  • Phase Three – When cases are in the thousands, changes to contact tracing will occur.

To assist with this three phase approach, it is recommended to get your booster shot, wear a mask, follow basic hygiene rules and reduce contact as much as is practical.

Get your Vaccine Booster shot
Learn about booster doses for COVID-19 vaccines, when you need one and how to get it on the government website here.

HazardCo COVID-19 Protection Framework Resources

If you haven’t completed a Red COVID-19 Safety Plan yet we recommend you do. The team at HazardCo has put together this HazardCo resource, which includes resources for the traffic light system, Vaccination Risk Assessments, COVID-19 Safety Plans, and suspected COVID-19 Response Guide.

For further information relevant to your industry, this government website provides some in-depth business information to assist you.

Remember it’s important that everyone is prepared for COVID-19 and puts a plan together for both your business and home. Here is the COVID-19 Resource Toolkit which has everything you need to know.

We are also here to support you, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with our advisory team if you would like further information on the Covid-19 restrictions and how they impact you. Give us a call on 0800 555 339 or email

Please note that our HazardCo communications are guidance as per the official Government, Ministry of Health, and WorkSafe New Zealand advice.

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