UPDATES FROM THE SPRFMO SECRETARIAT IN REGARDS OF COVID-19
The whole of New Zealand is currently at Alert Level 1, which means that everyone can work, attend school, participate in sports and undertake domestic travel normally. There is not limit on gatherings. People are strongly encouraged to use the QR tracing app.
A few community cases have popped up but have been able to be traced back to their original cluster, and in general people are safe.
There have been four positive cases of community transmission of COVID-19 in New Zealand (i.e. outside of managed isolation or quarantine), as announced by the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, in a press conference on the evening of Tuesday 11 August. This has triggered the activation of a resurgence plan that sees the city of Auckland moving to level 3 restrictions from 12 noon as of 12 August. The restrictions will last three days until midnight Friday. The rest of New Zealand will move to level 2 at the same time.
At level 2, gatherings are to be kept at no more than 10 people and social distancing rules apply.
The SPRFMO Secretariat is able to work in its usual office setting, given its staff count is under ten people and keeping at least 1-meter separation is possible in the office; employees who want or need to work from home are allowed to do it. In the office, employees have access to hand sanitizer and face masks, and are requested to keep high hygiene standards. Contact tracing records have been placed by the office entrance and sanitation items are available for visitors. People with cold or flu-like symptoms are requested to stay away from the office.
The New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has announced that the country can safely move down to Alert Level 1 starting 8 June at 11:59 pm.
At Alert Level 1, everyone can return without restriction to work, school, sports and domestic travel, and you can get together with as many people as you want.
The New Zealand border is currently closed to almost all travellers to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The travel ban applies to all arrivals into New Zealand whether it is by air or sea. New Zealand citizens and residents may return but will be subject to restrictions upon entry. No other foreign traveller can now enter New Zealand, unless they have been granted an exemption prior to travel. Exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis by Immigration New Zealand.
For the SPRFMO Secretariat going down to Level 1 means that work in the office goes back to normal, maintaining the contact tracing and hygiene measures already adopted in place.
The second phase of Level 2 has started in New Zealand. Gatherings and social events can have up to 100 people. Contact tracing and social-distancing measures as well as hygiene standards are still and will continue to be in place.
New Zealand has moved down to the first phase of Alert Level 2. At Level 2, phase 1, people can resume many of their everyday activities but safely. Gatherings and social events can have up to ten people. Businesses can operate if they are able to do so safely.
The SPRFMO Secretariat returns to working in its usual office setting with full capacity, given its staff count is under ten people and keeping at least 1-meter separation is possible in the office; employees have access to hand sanitizer and are requested to keep hygiene standards. Contact tracing records have been placed by the office entrance and sanitation items are available for visitors. People with cold or flu-like symptoms are requested to stay away from the office.
New Zealand has gone down to Alert Level 3. At level 3, people who can work from home must work from home. The SPRFMO Secretariat will continue to work remotely until going to workplaces has deemed safe by the New Zealand Government.
Primer Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that New Zealand will move to Alert Level 3 at 11.59pm on Monday, 27 April. Until then, we remain at Alert Level 4. Alert 3 will be in place for two weeks.
On 11 May, Cabinet will review the situation and make a decision on how to proceed.
At Level 3, people who can work from home, must work from home. The SPRFMO Secretariat staff will continue to work remotely.
New Zealand, where the SPRFMO headquarters are located, has moved up to Level 4 of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. State of Emergency has been declared and it will go ahead until next week. The total number of confirmed and probable cases of Covid-19 now stands at 368. The whole country us in a lockdown for at least four weeks.
The Secretariat has managed to secure staff are equipped to work from home and continue to provide services to the SPRFMO Commission with as much normality as possible, considering the circumstances.
The government has announced today that New Zealand has been lifted to Alert Level 3 of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. At level 3, staying at home is essential.
In 48 hours (Wednesday 11:59 pm), however, the country is moving up to Alert Level 4, and a total lockdown will be effectively enforced, with all non-essential businesses closing for about four weeks.
Currently there are 102 cases of Coronavirus in New Zealand and the risk of community transmission is now a possibility.
The Secretariat will resume its activities remotely. Please do expect delays as we adjust to this new format. Thank you for your understanding in this period of uncertainty and please take all precautions to protect yourself and those you love.
This is to inform you that the Secretariat will be having a working-from-home trial day on Friday 20 March, as part of business continuity planning.
New Zealand, where the Secretariat is headquartered, has twenty eight (28) confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus). The New Zealand government expects more cases and continues to identify, test and isolate to ensure COVID-19 can be kept out and slowed down as much as possible. It is expected that with continued vigilance, the chance of widespread community outbreak will remain low.
The Secretariat is closely monitoring the global outbreak of COVID-19 as well as following the advice from the New Zealand Ministry of Health, and is prepared to put sound procedures in place to manage the impact of this pandemic on the work of SPRFMO.
Apart from the working-from-home trial, unless otherwise instructed by the New Zealand Ministry of Health, our work will continue with as much normality as possible, while having the safety of our staff and our community as a priority.
We recognise that this period of uncertainty is challenging. Look after yourself and others.