ROBERT KITCHIN / stuff
Sports Secretary Grant Robertson said vaccination certificates for community sports are a balancing act.
Introducing vaccination certificates for community sports is a balancing act between keeping people safe and encouraging participation in sports and active recreation, says Secretary of State Grant Robertson.
Vaccine certificates were announced as part of the government’s Covid-19 traffic light framework, which will go into effect when counties’ health officials reach a 90 percent vaccination rate. Under the new framework, everyone visiting venues – including sports facilities – must present a vaccination card.
Kathryn George / stuff
A new “traffic light” system for coping with Covid-19 will – at some point – replace the existing warning levels.
Robertson confirmed Wednesday that the community sports vaccination certificate policy is “weeks” away.
“It’s important that we work it through and get it right,” he said.
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“I think it’s fair when you introduce something completely new, we’ll consult. [The guidelines] will come out in time before they need to be used, but we only advise to make sure we get it right. “
Mandatory vaccines for athletes are “debated,” Robertson said.
“… Some of the risks we try to manage, and that’s why we use certificates of vaccination for places where people are in confined spaces. In many sporting situations you will be in this situation, ”he said.
“We have to balance that … with the desire to encourage participation.”
He said the government wanted “people to be vaccinated” and “the sports environment to be safe”.
Eliminating or reducing public funding from sports organizations that do not use vaccination certificates is not currently considered, Robertson said.
“While we work through the path [vaccine certificates] will work, we’ll consider the options, but we didn’t look at that, ”he said.
DELIVERED / stuff
Sports Secretary Grant Robertson said the government wanted the sports environment to be safe.
Sports participants who have to travel domestically but do not have a vaccination card may have difficulty practicing their sport. This follows a statement by Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran that the airline is considering using vaccination certificates for domestic travelers.
Stuff believes several sports are considering introducing events with only vaccination certificates, with Bowls New Zealand saying on Tuesday that only those who have been vaccinated will be able to compete in the national championships early next year.
Bowls boss Mark Cameron said the organization will only use bowling clubs that require vaccination certificates for major events.
On Tuesday, a spokesman for the Prime Minister’s and Cabinet’s Department said food and drink sports club rooms “must adhere to the hospitality rules.” As part of the Covid-19 traffic light regulation, employees in the hospitality industry, at events and in companies with close contact must be vaccinated.
Vaccination certificates have been required for fans attending sporting events at venues this summer.
On Wednesday, Sport New Zealand published its guidelines for participating in sports for regions in or in the Covid-19 Warning Level 3, Level 2.
Groups of up to 25 people can gather to participate in certain sports, but this does not include contact sports or sports with shared equipment. Sports halls and swimming pools will remain closed, according to the guidelines.