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clinty
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  #2571489 21-Sep-2020 17:55
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AirNZ has said masks will be required on ALL flights until ALL of NZ is at level 1


To keep all passengers and crew safe, Air New Zealand requires you to wear an appropriate face covering during your flight when travelling until all of New Zealand is at Alert Level 1. We encourage you to bring your own face covering, but face masks will be available at the boarding gate and on board if you do not have one or if crew determine that the one you have is not suitable. Anyone refusing to wear an appropriate face covering will not be allowed to board the aircraft.


https://www.airnewzealand.co.nz/covid19#care

Clint




DS248
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  #2571494 21-Sep-2020 18:12
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Thank heavens for that!   


 
 
 
 


mattwnz
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  #2571507 21-Sep-2020 18:40
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clinty: AirNZ has said masks will be required on ALL flights until ALL of NZ is at level 1


To keep all passengers and crew safe, Air New Zealand requires you to wear an appropriate face covering during your flight when travelling until all of New Zealand is at Alert Level 1. We encourage you to bring your own face covering, but face masks will be available at the boarding gate and on board if you do not have one or if crew determine that the one you have is not suitable. Anyone refusing to wear an appropriate face covering will not be allowed to board the aircraft.


https://www.airnewzealand.co.nz/covid19#care

Clint



 

 

 

You do have to wonder why this wasn't a requirement by the MOH. Is common sense IMO. 


geoffwnz
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  #2571515 21-Sep-2020 19:05
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floydbloke:

 

freitasm:

 

Masks are still required in Auckland at level 2. If Aucklanders travel to anywhere else in the country they should keep their Level 2 requirements - distancing, masks in public transport, etc.

 

Flight to and from Auckland require masks - everywhere else it's optional but recommended.

 

 

I'm in Wellington and will certainly be keeping  mine on for a while yet when on the train.

 

Number of active cases tracking the right direction too, down to 62.

 

 

That has been my thought for this afternoon.  While I'm not a fan of the mask, I'm less of a fan of being ill.  Quite enjoying having not even had the usual annual headcold this year so far.  Normally up to at least two by now.  So, I too, will be continuing to wear a mask on the germ cylinder...I mean train.





freitasm
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  #2571570 21-Sep-2020 21:47
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"Southern hemisphere has record low flu cases amid Covid lockdowns"

 

 

General practitioners in New Zealand have not detected a single influenza case since they started screening patients in June, health data shows; last year about 57% of the samples they collected were positive.

 

The last flu cases detected by major hospitals in Auckland, the country’s largest city, were in April. “It’s amazing. There’s just nothing there at all. No influenza,” said Michael Baker, professor of public health at the University of Otago in Wellington.

 

A tracking system that monitors a cohort of at least 30,000 people for influenza-like symptoms shows as few as 0.3% of New Zealanders reported coughs or fevers some weeks during their winter, a tenfold decrease on some previous years."

 

Fewer than 40 Australians have died from influenza this year, compared to more than 950 last year, “and there haven’t been any deaths for the past three to four months”, Barr added.

 

 

So there is that too. 





 

 

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Batman

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  #2571654 22-Sep-2020 06:47
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mattwnz:

 

clinty: AirNZ has said masks will be required on ALL flights until ALL of NZ is at level 1

 


You do have to wonder why this wasn't a requirement by the MOH. Is common sense IMO. 

 

 

i think that's exactly what the MOH is trying to do. educate and strongly recommend people to wear masks was the PM's plea.

 

but i think they have seen from other countries if you legislate or use force then we have seen a paradoxical decrease in compliance and increase in protests.

 

what private companies enforce within their private property is none of the govt's business and that's exactly their point.

 

i see it as a masterstroke - reverse psychology.

 

people just will not follow rules unfortunately.





Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


freitasm
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  #2571790 22-Sep-2020 09:33
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BBC reports "The UK's coronavirus alert level is being upgraded from 3 to 4, meaning transmission is "high or rising exponentially", its chief medical officers have said. It comes after the government's scientific adviser warned there could be 50,000 new coronavirus cases a day by mid-October without further action."

 

These are the UK Alert Levels.





 

 

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Oblivian
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  #2571793 22-Sep-2020 09:37
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Re UK.. Radio was talking to someone as their SMS alert went out. Up till then they were only aware there was likely to be some changes announced tomorrow. Seems it's near immediate. And talking about working around Christmas issues!

 

Sun have them as closing bars at 10pm, lowering numbers and doing spot checks to see if the magic 6 is being adhered to.


dejadeadnz
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  #2571846 22-Sep-2020 10:35
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Batman:

 

i think that's exactly what the MOH is trying to do. educate and strongly recommend people to wear masks was the PM's plea.

 

 

When you look at the responses between the true world leader (Taiwan) versus what the rest of the world are doing (and if you look at the statistics, everyone else in embarrassingly rank amateur in comparison), the most clear pattern that emerges is the inability of almost any western government/society to coalesce good governance plus stern and stringent enforcement, with a mature society-wide consensus on fighting the disease seriously. 

 

There have been instances in Taiwan of individuals being fined over $50K NZD for breaching quarantine. They won't "educate" you if you don't play by the rules because all the education is widely known and available. Long ago they stopped bleating on about masks being uncomfortable or whatever and just wear them everywhere. NZ has pretty good governance, the societal response to COVID hasn't been bad (with the exception of the previous collective insanity of trying to deny the usefulness of masks and the standard small minority of abject idiots) but the enforcement of the rules have been a joke.


kingdragonfly
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  #2571863 22-Sep-2020 10:56
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The disgusting thing is $18 a mask for off-brand 20 pack, when it apparantly costs 12 times less to produce. NZ $15 a piece seems to be a typical price.

Washington Post: The N95 shortage America can’t seem to fix

Nurses and doctors depend on respirator masks to protect them from covid-19. So why are we still running low on an item that once cost around US$1 (NZ $1.50)?

The patient exhaled. She lifted her tongue for a thermometer. She raised her finger for a blood sugar test, and that’s when she started coughing. One cough can send 3,000 droplets into the air, one droplet can contain millions of coronavirus particles, and now some of those particles were heading for the face of emergency department nurse Kelly Williams.

The nurse inhaled. Strapped over her mouth and nose was an N95 respirator, the disposable filtering mask that has become the world’s most reliable and coveted defense against the virus.

N95s were designed to be thrown away after every patient. By this July afternoon, Williams had been wearing the same one for more than two months.

To get to her, the N95 had traveled from a British factory to a Baltimore warehouse, in a supply chain as tangled and layered as the web of microscopic fibers inside the mask’s filter.

It was purchased by Johns Hopkins Hospital, the famed medical institution that has tracked cases of the novel coronavirus around the world since the pandemic’s start. When its map of dots marking clusters of infections began to show pools of red across the United States, Hopkins was quietly unpacking a stock of personal protective equipment it had been building for over a year — a literal lifesaver when the onslaught of covid-19 cases led to a massive shortage of N95s.

Six months later, that shortage persists, leaving health-care workers exposed, patients at risk and public health experts flummoxed over a seemingly simple question: Why is the world’s richest country still struggling to meet the demand for an item that once cost around US$1 a piece (NZ $1.50)?
...

kingdragonfly
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  #2572079 22-Sep-2020 14:21
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Some may find this Northeastern University article researchers useful.

I'd think it would also help with fogging glasses, since it'd help keep mask against nose.

NPR: Adding A Nylon Stocking Layer Could Boost Protection From Cloth Masks, Study Finds

...new research suggests that nylon stockings could once again play a critical role in a national battle — this time by making homemade cloth masks significantly more protective.

Researchers at Northeastern University have found that adding an outer layer made from nylon stockings to a homemade face covering can boost its ability to filter out small particles in the air by creating a tighter seal between the mask and the wearer's face. In some cases, that extra nylon layer helped homemade cloth masks match or exceed the filtering capability of medical-grade surgical masks.

"It really improved the performance of all of the masks, and it brought several of them up and over the baseline mask we were using, which was a 3M surgical-type mask," says Loretta Fernandez, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Northeastern University and one of the scientists who conducted the research.
...

freitasm
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  #2572081 22-Sep-2020 14:22
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Press release:

 

 

The Government is putting in place a range of immigration policy changes to help fill labour shortages in key industries while ensuring New Zealanders, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, have the chance to find new employment.

 

“Two key sectors we are moving to help are horticulture and wine growing. These sectors are among a range of industries performing critical roles in supporting New Zealand’s COVID economic recovery and generating vital export earnings. So, it’s important we support them to keep going, while ensuring that, where there are job opportunities, New Zealanders are given a fair chance at filling them,” Minister of Immigration Kris Faafoi said.

 

“This season we expect more Kiwis, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, will be available to work in these sectors, but it is likely there will be a shortfall of workers as these industries have often relied on migrants for their seasonal peaks,” Kris Faafoi said.

 

“Therefore, people in New Zealand with expiring working holiday visas will be able to stay here to fill short-term horticulture and viticulture roles,” Kris Faafoi said.

 

The Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) visa will be automatically given to around 11,000 working holiday visa holders in New Zealand with visas expiring between 1 November 2020 and 31 March 2021. These visas will allow them to work in horticulture and viticulture roles, where there are not enough New Zealanders available to do this work.

 

Employers can take on these workers when there are unfilled Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme spaces with an RSE employer, or there are unfilled roles available with an accredited SSE employer

 

Employers will also be able to take on SSE workers for roles in regions specified on a list which the Ministry of Social Development is currently compiling.

 

Government changes will also enable other work visa holders to apply for an SSE visa if they have a job offer from one of these employers or if the job is on the Ministry of Social Development list.

 

In addition, all RSE scheme workers stranded in New Zealand who have been granted a more flexible limited visa to be able to work part-time and do non-RSE work will be able to ‘re-enter’ the RSE scheme and work for an RSE employer with 30 hours per week average pay guaranteed.

 

Kris Faafoi said the changes would help fill roles that cannot be filled by New Zealanders in the short term, while the industry works on other solutions.

 

These policy changes are a good balance between meeting the labour needs of these industries and ensuring good jobs for Kiwis who are looking for work as a result of COVID-19, he said.

 

“While unemployment is increasing due to the pandemic’s disruption, a lot of this is occurring in urban centres away from seasonal work. Without these visa changes, there will not be enough people in the right locations to ensure fruit and produce is picked in time to ensure that flow-on economic recovery benefits protect other New Zealand jobs.”

 

The changes are for the 2020/21 season only.

 

Kris Faafoi said the Government remained committed to the RSE scheme.

 

“We know many RSE workers are stranded in New Zealand because of COVID-19. These changes will provide certainty and options for these people, and we expect RSE workers will have priority for any seasonal work that cannot be filled by New Zealanders.

 

“Our borders are closely controlled in order to keep COVID-19 out. While only a small number of migrants can arrive in New Zealand, the Government is enabling the remaining migrant workforce to stay on. This will go a long way to support the labour needs of the horticulture and viticulture industries.

 

“RSE workers offshore will be able to return and work in New Zealand when it is safe to do so.

 

“The RSE scheme is part of our special relationship with the Pacific and is a win-win for us and our Pacific neighbours. It helps ensure our horticulture and viticulture industries are productive, and the scheme supports Pacific Island economies through remittances,” Kris Faafoi said.

 





 

 

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freitasm
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  #2572094 22-Sep-2020 14:23
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Press release:

 

 

Eligibility expanded for COVID-19 leave support

 

The expanded scheme will cover:

 

People who have COVID-19 like symptoms and meet the Ministry of Health’s criteria, and need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test.
People who are directed to self-isolate by a Medical Officer of Health or their delegate or on advice of their Health Practitioner, even if they do not have symptoms or have returned a negative test.
Many people who have COVID-19 like symptoms working in health, disability, and aged care sectors who should get tested and stay home while waiting for their results.
The parent or caregiver of a dependant who is directed to self-isolate and needs support to do so safely.
Eligibility criteria for the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme is expanding to support more workers say Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Andrew Little and Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni.

 

“The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme has been effective in supporting workers to self-isolate and break the chain of transmission for the virus. We have continued to review the scheme, to make sure that it is providing support where needed,” says Andrew Little.  

 

“We are now making improvements to the scheme, to cover those who have been told or recommended to self-isolate and can’t work from home. We want them to do the right thing, get a COVID-19 test and stay away from work. The period of subsidy will also be matched to the general two week self-isolation requirement.

 

 “We expect the scheme will be needed for some time yet and for this reason further changes are being considered as we seek to refine the scheme to ensure it provides the best possible support,” Andrew Little says.

 

More information on the expanded eligibility criteria, and who can access the Leave Support Scheme is available on the Work and Income website.

 

Payments for the scheme will now cover a two-week period – the amount of time most people are required to self-isolate for.  If a longer period of self-isolation is required, employers can apply for a further two week payment. The weekly rates of the scheme will remain at $585.80 for full-time workers and $350 for part-time workers. Other existing features of the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme remain the same.

 

“One of our lines of defence is to self-isolate and test, and break the chain of transmission. We know many workers may feel pressure to continue working, even if symptomatic. Expanding the eligibility criteria means these workers will be able to continue to receive an income and maintain their employment connections,” says Carmel Sepuloni.

 

The changes will come into effect from Monday 28 September, and will continue to be administered by the Ministry of Social Development. Applications made up until the changes come into effect will continue to be processed and approved.

 

“Employees and employers should continue to work together to identify if employees are eligible for the support, and agree what their leave and pay arrangements will be during the self-isolation period,” Carmel Sepuloni says.

 





 

 

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freitasm
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  #2572096 22-Sep-2020 14:23
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Press release:

 

 

The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators.

 

“Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s border strategy to protect New Zealand against COVID-19 and ensure New Zealand citizens and residents can return home,” Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said.

 

“The Government understands the challenges the tight border restrictions create. We continue to review possible exceptions that would help address critical workforce gaps that cannot be filled by New Zealanders and help support the COVID-19 economic recovery, while ensuring our managed isolation and quarantine system can cope.

 

“We also know that because of COVID-19, more New Zealanders will be seeking work. When we consider exceptions for workers from overseas, we’re prioritising industries that can demonstrate a plan for education, training, wages and other activities that will attract New Zealanders into their sector.”

 

Kris Faafoi said the latest exceptions are for up to 30 veterinarians, 570 deep sea fishing crew, and 210 agricultural and horticultural mobile plant operators, and these exceptions will be time-limited.

 

“There are not enough New Zealanders to fill current needs for livestock veterinarians, especially in isolated areas. Training to be a vet takes years so these vacancies cannot be filled quickly. Vets provide significant benefits to our economy and communities, by ensuring biosecurity and food safety requirements and supporting animal welfare.

 

“Agricultural and horticultural mobile plant operators are employed across regional New Zealand to operate highly-specialised machinery. Their skills are required urgently to avoid the loss of crop and animal feed that will soon be ready for harvest.

 

“Foreign deep sea fishing crew contribute significantly to New Zealand’s economy. The Government accepts that there are few additional Kiwis with the experience to safely work on these ships in the short term. In exchange for the border exception, the fishing industry has committed to removing barriers to employing New Zealanders, including reviewing pay structures and business models, and investing significantly in training and education,” Kris Faafoi said.

 

The exceptions are limited in numbers, and Government will look to industry representatives to identify which workers will be eligible for a border exception within the allocation.

 

Kris Faafoi said the Government would continue to review border settings as appropriate, and consider class exceptions where they are warranted and manageable, to meet New Zealand’s needs as the country recovers from COVID-19.

 

“Our decisions on border exceptions take into account a large number of factors, including humanitarian reasons, reuniting families, economic benefits, and ensuring sufficient skills, experience and talents are available.

 

“In the past month, exceptions were made for some normally resident temporary visa holders, more partners of New Zealanders, and now, additional critical workers. These are pragmatic decisions that help New Zealand, while protecting the critical role our border plays as the first line of defence against COVID-19,” Kris Faafoi said.

 





 

 

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Reanalyse
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  #2572112 22-Sep-2020 14:51
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I'm a little worried about Nationals plan to privatise quarantine - especially remembering what happened in Melbourne and the fact that even with current strict(ish) structure we still get escapees.

 

 


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