NZ introduces new event code as restrictions lift

The guidelines aren't legally enforceable but will ensure organisers uphold high standards of hygiene and safety.

As New Zealand celebrates its COVID-free status and the lifting of restrictions, the business events industry has released a new Voluntary Code for event organisers.

Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) and other event associations have developed the code to support the NZ Government’s ongoing directive to maintain health and hygiene standards as well as track and trace.

It comes as Prime Minister Jacinda Adern announced yesterday (Monday 8 June 2020) that the country is now free from COVID-19 cases and all restrictions within the country, except for the international border closure, have been lifted.

CINZ chief executive Lisa Hopkins said New Zealand’s business events sector is excited all restrictions on social distancing within the country have been lifted.

“We are aware of the need to continue to be vigilant, and ensure some of the measures put in place during past three months of restrictions are still maintained, as part of standard operating process and best practice,” she said.

Dubbed the ‘COVID Code’, the guidelines are voluntary and will not be regulated or legally enforceable.

Under the code, the sector agrees to take responsibility for regularly and consistently staying up-to-date with Ministry of Health guidance on the response to COVID-19.

Industry members will undertake best practice to enable and encourage individuals to keep a record of where they have been, including attendance at events.

Operators are encouraged to ensure attendee information is obtained and retained (within the bounds of the Privacy Act) through whatever mechanism is best suited to the event.

The sector will also use reasonable measures to ensure that any person on site – whether front or back of house – has the appropriate resources or facilities to ensure they undertake best practice hygiene standards.

“We have agreed the sector will uphold a culture of compliance to reduce COVID-19 related risks through leadership, influence and education to ensure best practice across the sector,” said Hopkins.

Hopkins added the next step for business events recovery is the opening of international borders.

“The opening up of our borders, starting with the trans-Tasman bubble will be key to our success.

“We are fully supportive of the work both governments are doing to expedite this.”

View the COVID Code here.

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