Covid 19 coronavirus Delta outbreak: Ask us anything on Covid – September 6

Living in alert level 3 and 4 lockdown comes with a unique set of rules, some of which are not always clear. In our new daily feature we answer questions from readers about anything Covid-related. Email [email protected]

Hello from a stranded 65-year-old, fully vaccinated Kiwi working in the USA. I have been trying to get an MIQ allocation since May of this year without success. Why is there no official waiting list to get an MIQ allocation?

Covid Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced changes to the MIQ system next week but there are still no plans for a wait list of any sort.

Hipkins said they would now start warning people when the next large batch of MIQ rooms would become available for booking.

There would also be a “virtual lobby” those wanting a room could sign up for, he said.

“It will mean that people can be selected from the queue randomly, removing the need for people to be the fastest person to hit the button.”

Hipkins was upfront when he said the new system would not solve the issue of demand far outstripping the supply of rooms available but would make the system slightly more fair.

“This change will make bookings more transparent and easier for people and it will create a more level playing field for people once they are on the website,” Hipkins said.

“Once all the rooms are taken, the lobby will be closed and anybody in the queue will be informed that they have unfortunately missed out this time.”

When the Herald asked whether there were any plans to create a waiting list from those who missed out, a Managed Isolation and Quarantine spokesperson only repeated part of Hipkins statement.

“Once all rooms have been taken, the lobby will be closed and anyone in the queue will be informed that they have unfortunately missed out this time. We will continue to announce room releases so people will know when to come back,” the spokesperson said.

Our daughter-in-law is struggling alone at home with her 2-month-old baby, her husband, our son, works on rotation overseas. We are in the same bubble, trying to support her the best we can but she lives In Mangawhai Heads, Northland. My husband and I live in Port Albert, greater Auckland, 30km away. Will we be allowed to cross this border under a shared bubble arrangement or will she have to manage alone when Northland moves to level 3?
Brigitte H

Yes, there are a number of reasons you can travel across the alert level boundary.

One of those is to visit or stay at another residence under a shared bubble arrangement if
a person lives alone in one of those residences or all people in one of the residences are vulnerable, including supporting people with physical health or significant mental health conditions.

A new mum looking after a newborn on her own fall into the category of vulnerable people so you are still able to cross the border to visit.

If you have any documentation that helps explain your shared bubble arrangement, you should take it with you to show at the checkpoint. Everyone in the car should also have photo ID with them if possible.

My son was at his friend’s house in Mount Maunganui when lockdown happened. They said he could stay for the lockdown but circumstances have changed and they can no longer have him. We live in Taupō and need to travel to the Mount to get him, or he will be homeless. How do I do this??

There are still regional travel restrictions under alert level 3. However, one of those is if you are moving permanently or long term. In your son’s case it’s fair to say he’s moving permanently or long term so there should be no problem getting him home.

Is it mandatory for all teachers to be vaccinated and are they classed as essential workers? How will parents know if all the teachers their children will be in contact with are fully vaccinated to make sure they can be in surroundings that have been made as safe as possible, giving them the best protection possible.?
Margaret N

No, teachers are not essential workers and it is not mandatory for them to be vaccinated.

Because teachers are not essential workers they are required to work from home during alert level 4 and not be in contact with anyone outside their bubble.

Some teachers will return to work during alert level 3 to care for the children of essential workers who are in year 10 or younger and have no other care options available.

Those older than year 10 should continue to learn from home.

At alert level 3, children who do go back to daycare or school must be split into bubbles of no more than 10 young people to help maintain social distancing and reduce the number of people the virus could spread to should someone be infected.

Teachers must remain with the same bubble of students.

Tertiary providers are in much the same boat.They are advised to continue classes online during levels 3 and 4.

However, if it is not possible for students to learn from home during level 3 (for example lab work or research) they may hold some classes in person. They too must be split into groups of no more than 10, including teachers, and must not interact with other bubbles.

Everyone in those bubbles should wear a face covering.

These rules mean children and young people are in environments that are as safe as possible during the times when there is most risk of them contracting Covid.

By the time the country moves back into alert levels 1 and 2 and education resumes as normal, the risk of picking up the virus is small.

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