MPs returning to Parliament from Auckland, Waikato must self-isolate

Source: 1News

MPs who have travelled to Auckland and the Waikato must provide a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours before returning to Wellington, then test negative again after self-isolating before going to Parliament, according to Speaker Trevor Mallard.

New Zealand's Parliament buildings.

The Waikato joined Auckland under Alert Level 3 at 11.59pm on Sunday. 

The country recorded 39 new cases associated with the Delta outbreak on Wednesday - 30 in Auckland and nine in the Waikato - and one new death. 

The negative test requirement to travel to Wellington will be effective immediately from Wednesday, Mallard said.

"This will be followed by five days self-isolation in Wellington and a negative day five Covid-19 test before accessing the Parliament buildings," the Speaker's Office said.

MPs looking to take the pathway into Parliament have been advised to inform their party whip.

Anyone acting outside of the pathway will result in the Speaker "having to make significant changes to the operation of the precinct, including the possibility of raising the effective alert level of the Parliamentary Precinct to Level 3", Mallard said.

In addition, a pop-up vaccination clinic will be available at Parliament on October 7 and 8, and again on October 13 and 14.

"Vaccination is our most effective tool to stop the spread of Covid-19 and I want to support access to the vaccine for people living and working in the area," Mallard said.

"I highly encourage you if you haven’t already, to take up this opportunity to be vaccinated, and to bring in whānau and friends who live and work in the area as well."

Mallard has also asked for Parliamentary Security to look into a system for visitors from ministries, departments and the public to present a Covid-19 vaccination passport in order to gain entry to Parliamentary buildings.

The timeline for the passport is slated for January 1, 2022.