COVID-19 UPDATES FOR FUNERALS
At 11:59am on September 21st, 2020, all regions outside of Auckland will enter Alert Level 1 of the New Zealand Covid-19 Alert Levels.
At Alert Level 1, everyone can return without restriction to work, school, sports and domestic travel, and you can get together with as many people as you want to farewell a loved one at a funeral.
We welcome you to our facilities and it is our privilege to help you through any difficult times. Before and after your visit we will ensure all commonly touched objects and surfaces are cleaned thoroughly. We will also keep a record of those who make appointments then attend our facilities, for contact tracing purposes.
At Alert Level 1 there are controls at the borders for those entering New Zealand, including health screening and testing for all arrivals, and mandatory 14-day managed quarantine or isolation. Some individuals may seek an exemption from managed isolation, so they are able to self-isolate at home with loved ones.
All applications for exemption from managed isolation will now be put through a risk assessment. If an application is deemed high risk, it will be declined regardless of the reason for application. Criteria that applications will be assessed on include; country of origin, transit through airports, potential exposure events, travel plan to isolation destination, plan for self-isolation, and length of proposed self-isolation. These criteria will shift as risk profiles change.
As the numbers of people allowed to attend funerals and tangihanga increases, the risk of allowing a person to attend during their isolation period increases. The changes to the criteria for exemption from managed isolation on compassionate grounds considers the risks presented by the individual, as well as the risk of transmission based on the known incubation period of SARS-CoV-2. There will be no exemptions granted to attend funeral or tangihanga, however the person may be permitted to self-isolate at home to grieve if they meet the following criteria.
If an individual wants to be exempted from managed isolation to go home and grieve the loss of a loved one with the family, these applications can be granted only in the following circumstances;
a) the individual has been in Australia for the last 14 days, or is assessed as low risk from another country
b) the individual has no signs or symptoms of COVID-19
c) the individual has completed at least 7 days (168 hours) in managed isolation in New Zealand
d) the individual has a negative COVID-19 test on day 6/7 of managed isolation and must pass the required exit health checks.
If the above criteria are met, the individual can be exempted from managed isolation if they and their family agree to the following conditions;
a) the individual must complete the remainder of their isolation period at home, with a Ministry of Health approved self-isolation plan in place
b) the individual will comply with health checks by phone
c) the individual and their family agree to maintain at least 1m distance from each other at all times.
When these criteria come into effect, as noted above, the person cannot attend a funeral or tangihanga. Their whanau and/or friends may wish to consider options such as postponing the event until after the person's 14-day managed (or self) isolation period, live streaming the funeral or tangihanga to the person, or holding a second memorial service when the person is able to attend it.
If an exemption is granted the family are responsible for ensuring compliance.