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At NZKGI, we aim to keep our grower community up-to-date with relevant industry news and key event information. See below for all of our latest industry news announcements and the details you need to know for our upcoming events.

Grower Guidance / September 13, 2022

COVID-19 FAQ’s

What should an employer do if a worker or visitor to their orchard tests positive with COVID-19?

Advise positive case to self-isolate and contact Ministry of Health for further assistance, helpline 0800 358 5453, or visit the website here.

Identify close contacts on the orchard who will need to monitor their symptoms, and if they become unwell, self-isolate and get a test. If there are any household contacts of the positive case (eg RSE workers) they do not need to isolate unless they also become positive. Information on who is a close contact and other guidelines can be found here.

There is a payment scheme in place to cover workers who are a positive case, information on how to apply is found here.

If there are any places that are frequented by the case, close and sanitise the area (eg break rooms, toilets).

HortNZ has a checklist for growers to plan for COVID-19 cases on their orchard, found here.

It is also advised that all RAT test results are recorded in “My Covid record”, as this activates clinical and welfare support for this person as well as assists Public Health with future planning and intel.

 

What should RSE employers do if a case is identified amongst their RSE workers?

If a positive case is identified amongst RSE workers, the positive case must self-isolate for 7 days. Household contacts do not need to isolate unless they return a positive result.

If a household contact develops symptoms or returns a positive test, they must isolate for an additional 7 days from their positive test result of symptoms start.

It is also advised that all RAT test results are recorded in “My Covid record”, as this activates clinical and welfare support for this person as well as assists Public Health with future planning and intel.

 

What is needed for travellers (eg RSE workers) arriving in New Zealand?

  • Travellers arriving in New Zealand will no longer have to test on arrival.
  • Travellers arriving at the border by air, including air crew, and at the maritime border will no longer have to prove their vaccination status. Air carriers and maritime vessels can still require evidence of vaccination as a requirement if they choose (would depend on aircraft).
  • Travellers will no longer have to be COVID-19-symptom-free before they travel to New Zealand.
  • Travellers can enter New Zealand even if they are subject to a public health direction in another country.
  • Air travellers to New Zealand will still need to provide information for contact tracing purposes prior to departure (NZTD – New Zealand Travel Declaration).
  • International arrivals are recommended to test for COVID-19 on day zero/one and five/six and if symptomatic and are required to isolate for seven days if positive.

 

How do employers cover wages of employees who have to take time off because they are a positive case?

Discuss with the employee what they are wanting. If they have available sick leave, they may want to use that, though this is up to the employee.

There is a payment scheme in place to cover workers isolating due to being a  positive case, this is open to all legal New Zealand workers. Information on how to apply is found here.

 

Should an employer mandate vaccinations in their business?

A risk assessment tool for businesses will be released Mid-December to help businesses determine whether they need to mandate vaccinations. More information about this tool can be found here.

NZKGI has also published information on work that requires a vaccinated employee, which can be found here.

 

Is an employer able to inquire about the vaccination status of their employee?

An employer can ask, but the employee does not have to tell, unless they are part of a mandated workforce (eg border workers). To see whether the work being done requires a vaccinated employee, click here.

 

Do workers need to wear masks while on the orchard?

  • Masks must be worn at all times during harvest activities, and gloves while handling fruit.
  • In all other settings, masks are not required.