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NEW ZEALAND EVENTS SECTOR: VOLUNTARY CODE

Sophie Waldron
15 Jun 2020

The Event Sector Voluntary Code has been updated (05 October 2020) to reflect the changes in legislation that requires the mandatory use of the NZ COVID Tracer App and implementing an alternative system for people who do not use the NZ COVID Tracer app. This came into effect at 11:59am Wednesday 19 August 2020.
The Code is also has also been updated so that it can be implemented throughout varying Alert Levels, provided restrictions do not prevent events from going ahead.

The Code has been developed by Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ), Entertainment Technology New Zealand (ETNZ), Event Venues Association New Zealand (EVANZ), New Zealand Event Association (NZEA), and New Zealand Promoters Association (NZPA) in consultation with New Zealand Major Events (at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment). The Code has been endorsed by Sport New Zealand and industry representatives.

INTRODUCTION

(1) Under the COVID-19 Alert Level system, the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and transmission in the community remains. This Code has been developed recognising that Events could be a transmission risk if COVID-19 community transmission re-emerges.

(2) This voluntary code:

a. outlines what the Events Sector can do to safely deliver Events by following best practice expectations, which are based on Ministry of Health guidance to reduce COVID-19 related risks;

b. will enable the Events Sector to appropriately support the Ministry of Health to contact trace if an outbreak of COVID-19 were to occur;

c. is not intended to replace existing systems and processes that the Events Sector have in place in accordance with existing legal obligations.

(3) The Code has been developed by the Events Sector in consultation with New Zealand Major Events at the Ministry
of Business, Innovation and Employment.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

1. While the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the New Zealand community remains, any Gatherings, including in the context of Events, could create a COVID-19 transmission risk should a resurgence occur.

2. Regardless of the gathering restrictions, or whether the Event is indoors or outdoors, the Ministry of Health will continue to encourage people to practice good hygiene behaviours and to keep a record of where they have been.

3. It is important that, if a case is identified, contact tracing can be done quickly and efficiently by the Ministry of Health to limit the spread of COVID-19. This is why at all Alert Levels, all workplaces (including event sites), must display the government’s official QR code. At Alert Levels 2 and above, workplaces (including event sites) are required by law to have other record keeping systems in place as well. This is so that those who do not have mobile phones can also leave their contact details to support rapid contact tracing.

4. This Code outlines best practice expectations to be applied by the Events Sector in reducing COVID-19 related risks at an event and the subsequent impact, through using and enabling good hygiene practices and effective record keeping. This will enable the Ministry of Health to efficiently contact trace.

5. If an outbreak occurs, Gathering restrictions may need to be reintroduced and tailored to the risk. The Events Sector recognises the importance for New Zealand, and for the Events Sector, to do its part to ensure Events are delivered as safely as possible using best practice.

6. An Operator who works within the Events Sector is required to have developed and implemented their own health and safety measures as per existing legal obligations. The Code describes best practice processes which can be overlaid by an Operator into existing systems and processes to reduce the likelihood and impact of a COVID-19 outbreak.

7. The Code is a non-legislative commitment and is not regulated or legally enforceable.

PURPOSE

This Code has been developed to outline best practice behaviours to prevent/minimise COVID-19 risks and impact, including a key function around record keeping to support Ministry of Health contact tracing processes.

BACKGROUND

(1) This Code has been developed for the New Zealand Events Sector by representatives of the Events Sector.

(2) This Code does not override any other legal obligations, including obligations under the Privacy 1993, the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020, or any other enactment.

(3) This Code will be in effect while New Zealand remains in COVID-19 Alert Levels.

WHO IS THIS CODE FOR?

1. This Code applies to the New Zealand Events Sector to reduce the likelihood and impact of COVID-19 at Events. This includes:

  • Event management professionals;
  • Promoters, owners, agencies and production organisations;
  • Suppliers and service providers;
  • Venues;
  • and Governing bodies.

DEFINITIONS
Code is
the New Zealand Events Sector Voluntary Code.

Operators Event management professionals, venues and suppliers responsible for event planning and delivery.

Attendees Personnel that are onsite through the duration of an event which includes but is not limited to competitors, performers, ticket holders, spectators, sponsors, Operators, workers, suppliers, and volunteers.

Events Sector The collective group of professional organisations that deliver, or support the delivery of, planned Events.

Events Professionally organised gatherings or activities of limited duration that bring people together for the primary purpose of participating in a community, cultural, commemorative, recreational, sporting, art, educational, entertainment or business experience.

Gatherings People who are intermingling in a group.

Record Keeping An attendance record of those who have been present at an event, including the time, place, and contact details of individuals; or an individual diary of where a person has been, when they were there, and who they met (where possible). This record can be kept digitally or using paper and pen.

Record Retention The storage of records no longer active.

VOLUNTARY NEW ZEALAND EVENTS SECTOR CODE

(1) Commitment to COVID-19 Ministry of Health guidance – Operators will take responsibility to regularly and consistently stay up to date with Ministry of Health guidance.

(2) Enable effective contact tracing – Fast and effective contact tracing is essential to stop the spread of COVID-19. Recording people’s movements will help the Ministry of Health to do this quickly and efficiently. Operators will undertake best practice to encourage Attendees to use the record keeping mechanisms at Events to enable the Ministry of Health to undertake contact tracing processes, if needed. Attendee behaviours can be encouraged at all types of Events inclusive of non-ticketed or partially ticketed Events.
Operators are encouraged to:

(a) Educate Attendees pre event and through the duration of an event on record keeping expectations and mechanisms at Events to support this.

(b) Consider ways to guide the best practice behaviours set out in this code, through event design.

(c) Educate and influence Attendees to take responsibility for their own record keeping.

(d) Incorporate record keeping mechanisms at Events for Attendees through the mandatory display of the NZ government’s official QR code and encouraging Attendees to scan it in prominent places and/or main entrances.

(e) Notify attendees that attendance information will be collected for the purpose of contact tracing and may be disclosed to the Ministry of Health should the need arise.

All workplaces and businesses (including event sites) legally must display the government’s official QR code, which can be scanned by the COVID-19 Tracer App, for each location. You legally must also have an alternative system for people who do not use the NZ COVID Tracer app when the country is at Alert Level 2 and above (but not at Alert Level 1). This came into effect at 11:59am Wednesday 19 August 2020.

(3) Retaining Records – Operators are encouraged to retain attendance records that can be supplied to the Ministry of Health should they need to contact trace. This includes ticketing or attendance data that can be legally obtained within the bounds of New Zealand’s Privacy Act 2020. Operators are encouraged to Retain Records of Attendees for a minimum of four weeks, this being the minimum period necessary to support effective contact tracing.

(4) Health of Operators and Attendees - Operators should take reasonable measures to ensure that individuals (including Operators and Attendees) have the appropriate resources or facilities to ensure they undertake best practice hygiene standards. Operators are encouraged to:

(a) Ensure Operators are aware of and comply with Ministry of Health guidance.

(b) Ensure Operators and Attendees are educated on the hygiene practices expected when attending the event as per Ministry of Health guidance.

(c) Enable good hygiene behaviours e.g. providing hand washing facilities and making hand sanitiser available

(d) Ask Operators and Attendees who are unwell to stay home.

(5) Encourage a culture of adhering to best practice COVID-19 risk management as set by an Operator – Utilise leadership, influence, education and best practice to ensure Ministry of Health guidance on hygiene and adherence to event policies put in place by the Operator are upheld in delivering the event. This includes not only during the event, but pre and post event. Operators can prepare, implement and measure this adherence using technology, risk management implementation, briefings, marketing, and incident reporting processes.

EVENT SECTOR RESOURCES APPLICABLE TO THIS CODE

Q&A

Will there be an extra cost to providers as a result of the new Code?

Where Operators are already providing high quality and robust risk management efforts with strong systems and processes, it is expected that any additional cost will be low. However there may be some cost involved for those providers that need to improve their systems and processes to demonstrate a commitment to the Code and compliance with the law, such as the printing of the QR Code for the event site.

What does the Code mean? Who will be held accountable?
There is no formal accountability as the Code will not be regulated or legally binding, except where it refers to something that is already set out in law. The Code sets out principle behaviours to support the welfare and safety of Operators and Attendees to reduce COVID-19 related risks at Events.

What responsibilities do Operators have?
This is a voluntary code and does not override or replace legal obligations, however it reflects best practice in managing COVID-19 and the event sector are encouraged to follow it.

Who was consulted when developing the Code?

Sector associations, regional representatives, and other industry representatives developed a working group, with the support of MBIE, to develop this code

How do I work out what is best practice in record keeping?

Contact tracing is a key pillar of the elimination strategy for COVID-19. Operators can be proactive to make it easier for the Ministry of Health to contact trace Attendees if needed, by making it easier for individuals to keep their own records about where they have been and when. Prior to an event and through the duration of the event, Operators can help to prepare, educate and encourage record keeping through event design.

Some examples may be:

  • Pre-Event – Tell your Operators and Attendees that the NZ COVID Tracer QR Code will be present at the event and that they will be expected to scan the code.
  • During Event – Make the QR Code accessible throughout the event, particularly at high flow locations (e.g. toilet, ATM or food facilities)

The Ministry of Health has created a tracing app — NZ COVID Tracer. This app works by scanning the government’s official QR code on a poster at participating businesses (including Events). The app then keeps track of which QR codes have been scanned so that individuals know where they have been. Using the app makes it easy for people to keep their own records and will send out a notification if people need to take action to keep themselves or their whānau safe. The use of the NZ COVID QR Code is now mandatory, as is providing an alternative system for those do not use the NZ COVID Tracer app when the country is at Alert Levels 2 and above (but other record-keeping systems, beyond displaying the government’s official QR code are not required at Alert Level 1).

This app was developed with the Privacy Commission and complies with the Ministry of Health’s data standards.

How do I work out what is best practice for the health of Operators and Attendees?

Checking the Ministry of Health website will provide the most up to date advice to follow. The Ministry of Health suggests people:

  • Stay home if you are unwell and call Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453 or your health care provider if you think you have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Follow basic hygiene measures:
    • Hand hygiene – frequently wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds, then dry them thoroughly. If you are unable to access soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser containing at least 60% alcohol. If using sanitiser, ensure that you use enough to cover your hands and rub hands together until dry.
    • Cough and sneeze etiquette – sneezing or coughing into the crook of your elbow or covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then putting the tissue in a bin and cleaning your hands (as above).
    • Avoiding touching your face – hard surfaces can be contaminated with infectious droplets. Hands can be contaminated after contact with these surfaces. If you need to touch your face, clean your hands first. o Cleaning surfaces and frequently touched items – clean high-touch surfaces and items (for example door handles and phones) frequently with an appropriate cleaning solution to reduce transmission of germs in general.
    • Cleaning surfaces and frequently touched items – clean high-touch surfaces and items (for example door handles and phones) frequently with an appropriate cleaning solution to reduce transmission of germs in general
  • Physical distancing - Physical distancing is no longer required at Alert Level 1, as the risk of community transmission of COVID-19 is very low. You can still play it safe by continuing to keep a distance from people you do not know. Use your judgement. The more space there is between you and others, the harder it is for COVID-19 to spread.

Can I communicate this Code to my Attendees?

Yes. Communicating that your event will follow the principles outlined in the Code can be a way of instilling confidence back in to the community. You may publish this code on your website and/or other communication channels. There is also a collateral pack to support your commitment to The Code which can be downloaded here.

I have read the Code, what do I need to do now?
There are no formal next steps. It is recommended that you review the principles of the Code to determine where they might need to be overlaid alongside your existing health, safety and risk management processes to ensure best practise is followed to minimise COVID-19 risks.

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