No entry to libraries, the zoo or council offices for the unvaccinated

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No entry to libraries, the zoo or council offices for the unvaccinated

People without a My Vaccine Pass will not have access to Hamilton City Council facilities in the same way they do now.

Without a pass you will be denied access to the main Customer Service Centre and to the Council Chambers in the Municipal Building, where council meetings are held, although public meetings are live streamed.

The unvaccinated will be able to use the click and collect services at the library and a visit to the zoo or museum will be restricted to virtual tours.

My Vaccine Passes will be a condition of entry at city council facilities for all people aged 12 years and older from as early as this Friday.

Other facilities, including libraries and the museum, will not allow entry without proof of vaccination from December 14 as Hamilton prepares for life at orange in the Covid-19 protection framework.

No entry to libraries, the zoo or council offices for the unvaccinated

Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate says the council has a legal obligation to keep staff and members of the public safe. Photo / Supplied

Councillors made the decision at an extraordinary council meeting on Tuesday, based on government guidance and on legal advice about protecting staff and the community.

Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate said no one welcomed having to make these “quite extraordinary and unprecedented” decisions.

“But these are extraordinary and tough times and we have a legal obligation to keep our staff safe, and to keep members of the public safe,” she said.

“I’m heartened by the fact that nearly 94 per cent of Hamiltonians have had at least one vaccine and I thank people for that. But I acknowledge this will make it harder for a small minority of people who have made a different choice.”

Thorough risk assessments across services were undertaken and showed all services present a risk of Covid-19 transmission. It also highlighted the need to protect essential council workers to keep our city’s infrastructure running and ensure specialists, such as zookeepers, were safe.

Chief executive Lance Vervoort said in a statement yesterday some members of the community will not have access to council facilities in the same way they do now.

“We’ve learnt a lot in the past two years about changing the way we do things, like offering click and collect services at the library and offering virtual tours of our zoo and museum. We’re continuing to look for innovative ways to provide Hamiltonians with access to these services in a safe and Covid-friendly way.”

More detail about each council facility operating in orange will be available soon on the Hamilton City Council website.

The city council says it understands that other councils around the Waikato are expected to consider the same issues soon.

The council is also consulting with staff on a policy that will require all council employees who are required to perform their duties at work to be vaccinated against Covid-19. A decision on the staff vaccination policy is due to be made on Friday.

Vervoort said: “Many of our staff are in roles which are critical to keeping our city going. We cannot have a situation where our zookeepers are unable to feed the animals, or our water treatment staff cannot run our plants. We haven’t made this recommendation lightly. Full risk assessments have been undertaken on roles and services to inform our recommendation to council.”

The council says that while facilities and services will remain largely unchanged from alert level 2, under the new framework My Vaccine Passes will be required as follows:

From December 3:
• H3 facilities including Claudelands Event Centre, FMG Stadium and Seddon Park.
• Hamilton Pools (Waterworld and the Gallagher Pool Aquatic Centre).

From December 14:
• Hamilton City Libraries
• Hamilton Zoo
• Waikato Museum
• ArtsPost and i-SITE
• Hamilton Park Cemetery
• Te Rapa Sportsdrome
• Enderley Community Centre
• Parts of Hamilton Gardens
• Customer Service Centre and Council Chambers in the Municipal Building

No entry to libraries, the zoo or council offices for the unvaccinated

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