Notice Type
Departmental
Notice Title

Exemption of Persons From Requirements of the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Order (No 9) 2021

Pursuant to clause 24 of the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Order (No 9) 2021 (“Order”), I, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, Director-General, Ministry of Health being satisfied that:

  • the exemption is necessary or desirable in order to promote the purposes of the Act; and
  • that the extent of this exemption is not broader than is reasonably necessary to address the matters that gave rise to the exemption,

hereby declare that registered banks and licensed non-bank deposit taking entities (NBDTs) carrying out critical financial services are exempt from clause 18 of the Order and may operate as an Alert Level 4 business or service.

Critical financial services include those:

  • processing and maintaining systems for processing financial transactions and services (e.g., payment, clearing, and settlement; wholesale funding; insurance services; card re-issue; fraud monitoring; and capital markets activities);
  • providing consumer and business access to credit and lending services;
  • ensuring provision of funding for ATMs, and to move currency and payments (e.g., armoured cash carriers); and
  • providing necessary banking support for customers who need assistance from carers and/or are unable to use remote banking services, as required.

The exemption is subject to the following conditions:

  1. Services shall comply with Alert Level 4 requirements for workplaces as set out in the Order, such as systems and processes for physical distancing requirements;
  2. Interaction with customers should be via remote means wherever possible;
  3. Face to face customer interaction continues to be permitted for essential financial services only;
  4. Over the counter transactions are to be completed at distances of over one metre and only if increased hygiene in these areas can be ensured including the use of hand sanitiser, Perspex screens and face coverings;
  5. For transactions which require face-to-face engagement but cannot take place over the counter – increased hygiene in these areas must be adhered to including the use of face coverings and disinfecting surfaces between transactions;
  6. Registered banks and NBDTs must follow all Government and WorkSafe guidelines for doing business safely at Alert Level 4 available at: https://covid19.govt.nz/business-and-money/businesses/doing-business-at-alert-level-4/#alert-level-4-businesses-and-services.

Once signed, this exemption will be effective as soon as it is Gazetted on Thursday 19 August 2021 and it will cease when the current Order is amended

Dated at Wellington this 19th day of August 2021.

Dr ASHLEY BLOOMFIELD, Director-General of Health.