23 August 2021 – 12.30pm

New Zealand is in Alert Level 4 – freight services are allowed (with conditions)

The RTF is the central point of communication to and from Government and the national media for the road freight transport industry. We keep our Covid-19 webpage updated with information needed by road freight operators. We are in ongoing discussions with the government officials putting all the measures in place during New Zealand’s response to the Covid-19 virus.

Today’s updates

Essential services that are allowed under Level 4 We are repeating this advice because we, and our member associations, have received several enquiries on whether transport services are allowed.

Freight services are allowed under Alert level 4, see below with conditions.

Schedule 2 of the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Order (No 9) 2021 includes Alert level 4 businesses or services allowed, and number 14 refers:

The following services:
• freight services (including those for transporting livestock) provided by means of road, rail, air, or sea:
• any other transport and logistics services, including those provided at or through an aerodrome or a port.

With these additional conditions:

Must have systems and process in place to ensure so far as is reasonably practicable that each person who enters the workplace—

• scans the QR code for the workplace; or
• provides details in a contact tracing record that the person in control of the workplace collects.

Responding to customer queries

In the event operators receive queries from customers about whether the respective customer’s business is an essential service, the RTF’s advice is that operators should refrain from being part of that determination. The customer needs to comply with the law and determine for themselves if their business is essential.

Government announcements

The Government has made a number of announcements around assistance to businesses and rules for businesses.

Mandatory record keeping

Mandatory record keeping is being introduced for busy places and large gatherings to ensure the Government can contact trace quickly, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced on Sunday.

This means those responsible for businesses and events will need to ensure people keep a record when they visit, either by scanning QR codes with the COVID-19 Tracer App or making a manual record.

You can read the Minister’s full statement here, and find out more information about the directive here.

Childcare available for workers in Alert Level 4

The Government is restarting childcare for workers in Alert Level 4 businesses and services, which was available during last year’s national lockdown, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said on Sunday.

Workers who have children aged up to 13-years-old can access free care, so they are able to continue to provide the essential services we need during the current lockdown.

You can read the Minister’s full statement here, and find out more information about the initiative here.

August wage subsidy scheme open

Businesses and self-employed people significantly affected by the recent move to Alert Level 4 can now apply for the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy August 2021, the Government announced on Friday.

You can read the Ministerial statement here, and find out more information from Work and Income New Zealand here.

The Resurgence Support Payment (RSP), a payment to help support businesses or organisations with one-off costs due to a COVID-19 alert level increase to level 2 or higher, is available to eligible firms at the same time as the Wage Subsidy Scheme and you can find out more about that from IRD here.

Message from Nick Leggett

This is a challenging time for all road freight transport businesses and their customers. The Road Transport Forum and the association you are a member of are here to help you so please contact us if you need anything.