New guidelines for Covid-19 Level 4 rules on recreation and bubbles

On Friday the Ministry of Health issued a Health Act notice to all persons in New Zealand that most New Zealanders won’t have found let alone read (I had to search for it, and for a while yesterday it wouldn’t load).

Based on the the Ministry and the Police have issued joint Additional guidelines on Alert Level 4 rules:


The Director General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, has issued a Health Notice that provides additional guidance on the rules around the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 to ensure its success and help move the country out of lockdown as soon as possible.

The Notice sets out:

  • Everyone in New Zealand is to be isolated or quarantined at their current place of residence except as permitted for essential personal movement.
  • Exercise is to be done in an outdoor place that can be readily accessed from home and two-metre physical distancing must be maintained.
  • Recreation and exercise does not involve swimming, water-based activities (for example, surfing or boating), hunting, tramping, or other activities of a kind that expose participants to danger or may require search and rescue services.
  • A child can leave the residence of one joint care-giver to visit or stay at the residence of another joint care-giver (and visit or stay at that residence) if there is a shared bubble arrangement.
  • A person can leave their residence to visit or stay at another residence (and visit or stay at that residence) under a shared bubble arrangement if:
    – One person lives alone in one, or both, of those residences; or
    – Everyone in one of those residences is a vulnerable person.

“Most New Zealanders are doing the right thing. In the first week of being at Alert Level 4 we have seen high rates of compliance,” Dr Bloomfield said.

“The best way to ensure the success of the lockdown is for everyone to play their part. That means staying at home, maintaining physical distancing when outdoors and washing your hands.”

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster welcomes the guidance and said Police’s primary goal is to ensure people understand the importance of staying home.

“The vast majority of New Zealanders have a high level of awareness of what they can and can’t do under the Alert Level 4 restrictions, and by and large people are doing a tremendous job,” he said.

“We want people to stay safe, but if a small number of people persist in deliberately flouting the restrictions, Police will have the discretion to warn or, if necessary, to arrest.

“The Health Notice makes it clear what types of outdoor exercise and recreation people shouldn’t do. Outside of that, we are asking people to stay local, apply common sense and not do anything that could risk exposure to injury or require search and rescue services.

“The public should not notice any significant change to policing as we continue to prioritise high visibility reassurance to the community, and a continued focus on day-to-day Police work.

“I have recently set a clear expectation of our staff on how we Police in the current environment.  We have today updated our operational guidelines to staff, to help them Police with confidence and certainty,” Commissioner Coster said.

Dr Bloomfield said the guidance also provides additional clarity around bubbles.

“Specifically, if you live alone and have already established a bubble with another household this can be maintained so long as both households have no contact with others – that they stay in their joint bubble,” Dr Bloomfield said.

“No one is immune to the virus. We are seeing high rates of people aged 20-29 with the virus. These people may not die of it, but if they are not following the rules they can pass it on to others.

“By clarifying the rules we are also reinforcing the ability of Police to enforce them. No one likes a rule breaker, especially when breaking the rules puts other New Zealanders’ lives at risk.

“We’ve started well but now is not the time to be complacent. We need to be extra vigilant to move out of Alert Level 4 as soon as possible, and Police have all the powers they need to make sure people not following the rules are dealt with,” Dr Bloomfield said.

“The Government can’t do this alone. Everyone has one job to do in helping to stamp out the virus, and that is to stay at home and follow the rules.”

More information: Health Act Notice(link is external)


Also Police Operational Guidelines – 4 April 2020

Police position

  1. We police by consent and must maintain the support of the wider public in our actions. This means our actions need to be seen as reasonable, proportionate, and aligned to the intent of the Level 4 restrictions.
  2. All non-essential businesses are required to close. Individuals must not congregate in a public place of amusement or recreation.
  3. All people in New Zealand are required to remain at their current place of residence, except as permitted for essential personal movement; and are required to maintain physical distancing, except from fellow residents; or to the extent necessary to
    access or provide an essential business
  4. Police may do anything reasonably necessary (including the use of force), to compel, enforce, or ensure compliance with a requirement made by a MOOH in the above Health Act orders (s70A(1)(e)).
  5. There is a power to stop and inspect any vehicle, and enquire into the purpose of travel under s 71A(2) to ensure people are not travelling in breach of the Health Act orders.
  6. Police have a power to enter, remain and inspect premises (s 71A(2)) if they have reasonable grounds to believe actions or gatherings are occurring in those premises that are not consistent with the Health Act orders.
  7. Police will not set up a Police Roadblock for Police purposes. However Police may place roadblocks as a direct request from their Territorial Authority EOC (in consultation with the District Commander). If a request is made to Police prior to the roadblock being enabled, The District Commander will notify the NCCC and SRO’s to ensure that these are captured and recorded. Random checkpoints to assess whether people are complying with the essential travel requirements may be part of a local deployment plan based on a risk assessment – these must be approved by the District Commander.

At all times we need to take a graduated response to any situation we encounter and apply a common sense understanding to the intent of what we are asking everyone in our communities to achieve.

  1. Engage with the parties and communicate with them to identify whether their current behaviour or activities are contrary to the government’s response to COVID19
  2. Educate them on the current requirements (if necessary) to correct their behaviour or activities
  3. Encourage compliance measures if required
  4. Enforcement – only resort to warnings or prosecutorial measures if absolutely necessary.

We want to support frontline staff to operate in a very different environment to which we traditionally police.

Every District is encountering circumstances where Police will need to respond, and make decisions about how to deal with situations as a result of the declaration of the state of emergency, and that are impacted by the Health Act orders.


This doesn’t mention an important part of Health Act Notice on Emergencies:

Both this and the Health Act Notice don’t mention key allowable essential personal movements: buying groceries and food, buying medical supplies (from a pharmacy) and seeking medical assistance.

 

 

Leave a comment

48 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  5th April 2020

    I just read Section 70 of the Health Act. He doesn’t have the power to prevent recreation, merely the power to forbid congregation while doing it.

    Banning swimming and boating etc is unlawful.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  5th April 2020

      I’ll have to disband our synchronized swimming group and put our Americas Cup Challenge…on ice.

      Reply
    • Duker

       /  5th April 2020

      The Health Act Epidemic provisions arent the only ones , there is also powers granted to Police and Civil Defence Officers Under the National State of Emergency. I think it means the Police can direct you to leave an area or close an area.

      Reply
    • Duker

       /  5th April 2020

      Yes he does have the power, as all movement from your home can only be for ‘essential purposes’
      Guess who cna decide whats on the list of essential purposes , recreation is at the moment but some types , swimming , hunting, boating is out. But of course they could decide biking its out as well ( as that to could involve assistance from emergency services)

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  5th April 2020

        What clause empowers that?

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  5th April 2020

          I once broke my ankle slipping off a kerb. People have accidents mowing the lawn.

          Will walking in streets and lawnmowing be banned ?

          Reply
        • Duker

           /  5th April 2020

          The clause that makes ALL NZs quarantined at their residence. S70 (1) (f)

          You can only leave for ‘essential purposes’ and guess who makes the list ?

          S70 Special powers of medical officer of health
          (1)For the purpose of preventing the outbreak or spread of any infectious disease, the medical officer of health may from time to time, if authorised to do so by the Minister or if a state of emergency has been declared under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 or while an epidemic notice is in force,—
          (f) require persons, places, buildings, ships, vehicles, aircraft, animals, or things to be isolated, quarantined, or disinfected as he thinks fit:

          Thats the overriding situation were are ALL quarantined to our homes

          and for your information:
          71A Power of constables to assist medical officer of health in relation to infectious diseases
          (1)A constable may do any thing reasonably necessary (including the use of force)—
          (a) to help a medical officer of health or any person authorised by a medical officer of health in the exercise or performance of powers or functions under section 70 or 71; or

          http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1956/0065/latest/whole.html#DLM307083

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  5th April 2020

            Doesn’t give any powers to do anything except isolate. That’s why all the rest is specified in the following clauses.

            Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  5th April 2020

        There is no such power in the Act.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  5th April 2020

          Hehhehe . Wrong

          Reply
        • Dukeofurl

           /  5th April 2020

          Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002

          99 “Failure to comply with direction to evacuate premises or place
          (1)A person commits an offence who intentionally fails to comply with any direction given to the person under section 86 or 94K.
          http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2002/0033/51.0/DLM151414.html

          S86 is for ‘the exclusion of persons or vehicles from any premises or place, including any public place’
          The National State of Emergency was declared last week.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  5th April 2020

            That must refer to a specific place and must be necessary for the preservation of human life. No such justification exists. Furthermore the judgement and order is made by Civil Defence, not the DG Health.

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  5th April 2020

              Nationwide state of emergency declared so there are no ‘places’ not covered.
              “A nationwide state of national emergency was declared on 25 March 2020 at 12:21pm due to COVID-19. The state of national emergency covers all of New Zealand including the Chatham Islands, Stewart Island, and other offshore islands” and extended …
              The epidemic provisions are about preserving human life
              Minister of Civil Defence has made the order and the police are the enforcers of that too.

              I never said the DG of Health had those provisions but the Police can enforce the ‘essential activities’
              from the Police Operational guidelines
              You can take action under s 71A (1)(e) of the Health Act. Police have the power to compel, enforce or ensure compliance with a requirement under s 70.
              It is an offence under s 72 Health Act (6 months/$4000 fine) if a person threatens, assaults, obstructs or hinders a constable or fails or refuses to comply with a requirement under s 70.

              Its pretty clear there as well – fails or refuses to comply is an offence with up to 6 months in prison.
              More likely a wet bus ticket

  2. Duker

     /  5th April 2020

    “There is a power to stop and inspect any vehicle, and enquire into the purpose of travel under s 71A(2) to ensure people are not travelling in breach of the Health Act orders.”

    This is contrary to the Stuff story the other day
    “WHAT THE POLICE GUIDELINES SAY
    The document starts by telling officers there is no curfew in place, and people are still allowed to move around as long it does not have the potential to further spread the virus.
    It notes there is no power to stop vehicles to check the occupants are complying with the Covid-19 health notice.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/120785044/coronavirus-police-lack-power-to-truly-enforce-lockdown-rules

    I thought at the time Stuff had made a colossal stuff up and are in fact telling complete lies
    and Sam Sherwood the journo should be sacked for being a liar if there is any accountability

    Others seem to have followed on the ‘mixed messages theme’ created by the Stuff/Sherwood story based on false information

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  5th April 2020

      What powers are there to forbid travel and walking?

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  5th April 2020

        None….YET.

        Reply
      • Duker

         /  5th April 2020

        You can only leave home for what is deemed ‘essential’ … some recreation isnt deemed essential, others ‘could be’ – but I dont think thats likely to stop walking . Bike riding seems to be a ‘middle class sop’ as we have found its liked by the Minister of health. ( and Mallard)

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  5th April 2020

          Show me the clause otherwise you are just talking tosh.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  5th April 2020

            ALL Kiwis are quarantined to their Homes S70 (1)(f) except for what is deemed essential .

            Reply
            • That’s not a quarantine.

              In general, a quarantine is “a strict isolation imposed to prevent the spread of disease.” We know what you might be thinking: so, a quarantine is … just an isolation? Not exactly.

              As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains, the practice of a quarantine specifically involves:
              … the separation of a person or group of people reasonably believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease but not yet symptomatic, from others who have not been so exposed, to prevent the possible spread of the communicable disease.

              The takeaway: People are put in quarantine when they are not currently sick, but have been or may have been exposed to a communicable disease. This can help stop the spread of the disease.

              Isloation:

              In general, isolation is when someone or something is set apart or separated from other persons or things. In medical contexts, isolation specifically means “the complete separation from others of a person suffering from contagious or infectious disease.”

              Again, according to the CDC, the practice of isolation entails:

              … the separation of a person or group of people known or reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease and potentially infectious from those who are not infected to prevent spread of the communicable disease. Isolation for public health purposes may be voluntary or compelled by federal, state, or local public health order.

              The takeaway: isolation happens when a person is infected with a communicable disease, and is separated from people who are healthy. This also helps stop the spread of the disease.

              https://www.dictionary.com/e/quarantine-vs-isolation/

              So when we can go grocery shopping and out for a walk in public it’s neither quarantine or isolation.

            • Duker

               /  5th April 2020

              You are wrong as well PG
              The DG of Health says so in his official notice quoting the S70 powers he has
              You are very out of your depth saying these sorts of things another instance of group think as many things I read are similar

              Click to access operational-policing-guidelines-04-04-2020.pdf


              Look to page17 at the end for the DG of health S70(1)(f) order
              “I require all persons within all districts within NZ to be isolated or quarantined as follows
              (a) To remain at their current place of residence except as permitted for essential movement….

              So Im repeating the correct situation is we are all isolated or quarantined ( DG own words) except for what is permitted as essential..

              As the well the Police can assist under this provisions
              “A constable may do any thing reasonably necessary (including the use of force)—
              (a) to help a medical officer of health or any person authorised…
              The Police cant do this under their general Police powers ( and this is where many are making a fundamental mistake) but they can do so under delegated power to assist ..

            • I quoted from dictionary definitions, not how the DG and Police use the terms – but in fact they do say isolated or quarantinedexcept so obviously not full isolation or quarantine.

              You can’t be isolated or quarantined and still be able to mingle with many people at supermarkets and mingle with many people in the neighbourhood, parks and other communal areas.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  5th April 2020

              He’s pretty clearly exceeding his powers under the Act.

            • Duker

               /  5th April 2020

              Anybody can quote another definition.
              But you said this ( and I quote your exact words)
              ‘That’s not a quarantine.’

              Legally it is as its been declared as such by the DG of health
              ““I require all persons within all districts within NZ to be isolated or quarantined as follows..”
              and in the context of the current NZ legal situation – which is what we are talking about ( not elsewhere) so you continue to be wrong.
              How about a whole post on the exact words the DG has used in his formal order which makes all these things clear.

            • Duker

               /  5th April 2020

              You are wearing your Trump moron hat again Wilco
              ‘S70 Special powers of medical officer of health
              (1)For the purpose of preventing the outbreak or spread of any infectious disease, the medical officer of health may from time to time, if authorised to do so by the Minister or if a state of emergency has been declared under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 or while an epidemic notice is in force,—
              (f) require persons, places, buildings, ships, vehicles, aircraft, animals, or things to be isolated, quarantined, or disinfected as he thinks fit:

              the DG of health is the medical office of health for the entire country, a
              national state of emergency has been declared, an epidemic notice is in force for all persons and in all districts.

              Isolated or Quarantined AS HE THINKS FIT.
              The powers are right there and hes using them , as he thinks fit.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  5th April 2020

              Nope, he can’t have arbitrary powers to control every person’s every action relying on four words in the law. That is simply a dictatorship.

            • Duker

               /  5th April 2020

              Well thats an baseless opinion, but existing laws have plenty of provisions for officials to allow or prohibit ‘by decree’ many little things

              So yes , as described the law allows it , and your protestations ,which arent based on legal grounds mean nothing.
              After all National State of Emergency has been declared as well. You squawked as if that didnt mean anything as well…oh dear

              Its all right to think these things but to claim that dont have legal effect is patent nonsense, more worrying people who should know better might believe you. Wartime, the 1951 Waterfront Strike have all invoked existing powers to control every person activities.

              Even US Constitution has provisions to lapse habeus corpus provisions of the Courts but only for rebellion or invasion.
              We follow that quasi dictatorship the UK who have the monarch with reserve powers

              Rest at easy at night as Simon Bridges is chairing a committee….

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  5th April 2020

              To carry the point further, the DG Health has expertise and authority to define what is safe behaviour. He has neither expertise nor authority to define what is essential or non-essential.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  5th April 2020

              This is precisely what the Magna Carta was for, to limit arbitrary dictatorial powers by the monarch.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  5th April 2020

              The use of the criterion, essential, is just a crude and blatant attempt to extend his powers beyond the provisions and purposes of the Act.

            • Duker

               /  5th April 2020

              Magna Carta does nothing of the sort , many people have pointed its specific provisions , including the King cant steal peoples firewood and other fripperies.
              The powers are written in the legislation as passed by parliament so arent arbitrary powers of the monarch anyway
              The rest of your comments are the usual baseless blather with no founding in reality….your normal state of mind in other words

  3. Kitty Catkin

     /  5th April 2020

    A young woman I know heard that an old woman who’s a family friend was now totally isolated with the people who came to help her now forbidden to do so. She immediately packed a bag and drove to the woman’s house to care for her during the lock down rather than risking her dying alone because the PM decreed that no one must enter the houses of people in that position. I don’t think that she’s the only one and suspect that some old people have been smuggled into their family’s homes for the duration from what I have heard.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  5th April 2020

      sensationalist,manufactured,nonsense.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  5th April 2020

        No, the people whose home help was paid for by themselves are now on their own. It’s happened to my mother’s friend in Wanganui; she lives alone at 85 and her home help has had to stop coming for the duration.

        It’s true about the local girl, but I will not dob her into the website for dobbing in people who are breaking the rules about the lockdown as I applaud her selflessness.

        It’s not nonsense. Have you not heard of the lockdown rules that say that people can’t enter anyone else’s house ? You really ought to look them up if you haven’t. You won’t believe me, perhaps you’ll believe the Ministry of Health and the Government.

        Reply
    • Griff.

       /  5th April 2020

      You are allowed to included in your bubble and drive to visit anyone who lives alone.
      I will drive from here 30 km over to the girls in a day or two to visit as she staying at the langs batch by herself
      All legit.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  5th April 2020

        What I read said that people living alone can associate with another person living alone in a buddy system, but that these two must not associate with anyone else; and that came directly from the PM. Otherwise, people must not associate with anyone outside their ‘bubble’, i.e. those with whom they live.

        Reply
      • Griff.

         /  5th April 2020

        From PG’s post above.

        A person can leave their residence to visit or stay at another residence (and visit or stay at that residence) under a shared bubble arrangement if:
        – One person lives alone in one, or both, of those residences;or
        – Everyone in one of those residences is a vulnerable person.

        Kitty you are usually pedantic about words and meaning
        This time your preconceived ideas are getting in the way of your understanding.

        Normally I would have spent the week end from Friday with the Girl however I am holding off for a few extra days because she was at a government conference to discus social issues and youth in wellington just over two weeks ago. I nagged the hell out of her before she left to keep her distance even if the others thought she was weird. Social workers are a huggy kissy bunch .

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  5th April 2020

          The problem is that it’s difficult to keep up with the rules that seem to be being made up as the people go along.

          We were and are told not to go to anyone’s house, that we had to stay in our own houses…there was even a text message sent out to say so.

          Now this new notice says that the bubble needn’t just be that.

          No wonder people are confused.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  5th April 2020

            Isnt it good news you can walk to your friends nearby who are living alone, -if they want that too ?

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  5th April 2020

              No. The ‘buddy system’ means that one could only do that with one other person and neither could have contact with anyone else.

              So I would be wasting my time.

            • Blazer

               /  5th April 2020

              no good,if you have no…friends!

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  5th April 2020

              Poor Blazer, but that isn’t really surprising.

  4. Gezza

     /  5th April 2020

    From the Police Operational Guidelines:

    Random checkpoints to assess whether people are complying with the essential travel requirements may be part of a local deployment plan based on a risk assessment – these must be approved by the District Commander.

    I wonder if this provision was being used where a some local iwi have ignored their bubbles & set up their own highway checkpoints “to protect our vulnerable people”. Hone’s far North checkpoint was attended by police officers (or at least one). The fuzz didn’t appear to be sending them home with a flea in the ear.

    Members of another iwi were also shown on 1News saying they stopping non locals coming to their motu, IIRC – for the same reason. I don’t remember the tv reporters interviewing police to ask if this is legal, & if so how? And why aren’t they breaching the lockdown rules?

    (That said, I haven’t seen any update on either of these vigilante checkpoint operations. It’s possible that police have had a quiet, low key engagement with these iwi road patrols to ask them to desist.)

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s