Requiring My Vaccine Passes for entry

Businesses can choose whether to require customers to have My Vaccine Passes as a condition of entry. For some businesses, this decision will affect the rules they must operate under.

COVID-19 Protection Framework guidance

Checking My Vaccine Passes

Businesses operating under My Vaccine Pass rules must check customers' passes. We recommend at or near the point of entry, or as soon as possible after entry (for example, if there is only one staff member, this might be at the counter).

  • Businesses who choose to require the My Vaccine Pass must sight Passes, and must verify a reasonable number using a verifier app.
  • Some businesses are prohibited from asking for My Vaccine Passes. These include supermarkets, pharmacies, health and disability services, specified social services, food banks, petrol stations and public transport (excluding air-travel).
  • It is up to customers to present only their own My Vaccine Pass. Businesses are not required to check ID, but they may request it.
  • Businesses are not required to check a customer's pass if they reasonably consider that the customer is a child under the age of 12 years 3 months.

NZ Pass Verifier app

  • The free NZ Pass Verifier app is available now from the Apple and Google Play app stores for downloading. The app is used to verify digital or printed My Vaccine Passes, by scanning the QR code on the Pass.
  • The Verifier app can be downloaded onto a smart phone or tablet.
  • Further information on how to download and use the NZ Pass Verifier app is on the Ministry of Health website. This includes information on downloading, use of and technical support for the NZ Pass Verifier.

NZ Pass Verifier(external link) — Ministry of Health

Building third party Verifier Apps

A business may build their own verifier app, or integrate verification into their existing systems, for example integrating the QR code scanner into existing smartphone apps or ticketing operations. Technical information including the formal specification for the QR code and additional resources, is available from the Ministry of Health.

The formal specification for the QR code(external link) — Ministry of Health
Ministry of Health Github page(external link) — Ministry of Health

Customer compliance

Businesses must display posters or signage indicating to customers if entry is contingent on having a My Vaccine Pass. These can be downloaded from the COVID-19 website.

Posters for businesses and organisations(external link) — COVID-19

Customers must show a My Vaccine Pass before they can enter business premises that require them, this includes showing it for verification if asked.

It is recommended businesses provide staff with wording for customers who do not wish to comply with requirements, so staff are best able to de-escalate a situation. Make it clear when workers should walk away or decide not to continue to engage with a person. Consideration should also be given to what kind of behaviour might mean calling the Police.

Compliance for businesses

Compliance for businesses

There will be a graduated compliance model in place to support businesses as they implement these new requirements, with an emphasis on education first. As with any workplace requirement it is a high trust model. However, based on experience with the alert level framework, businesses can expect strong feedback from their customers and competitors if they do not follow the rules.

COVID-19 Protection Framework guidance

Keeping workers safe

As well as meeting the COVID-19 Protection Framework requirements, businesses must continue to comply with all other laws including the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA).

Consider the systems and processes you have in place to keep workers safe and ensure your workers have adequate support, instruction, and information to perform their duties.

You must involve your workers and their representative (including unions) in creating these systems and processes.

Worker engagement and participation(external link) — WorkSafe

Plan for what to do if a person refuses to show their My Vaccine Pass, or becomes angry at the worker who is requesting their My Vaccine Pass.

Some practical steps could include:

  • Provide staff with wording they can use if someone refuses to show their My Vaccine Pass.
  • Provide staff with wording to use if things escalate, so they are best able to de-escalate the situation.
  • Put signs up indicating that abuse of your staff will not be tolerated.
  • Consider what kind of behaviour might mean you call the Police and what information would be useful to share with Police. This could include an incident report outlining witness details and accounts of what took place.
  • Be clear about when to walk away from the situation. Workers have the right to cease or refuse work where they believe that the work would expose them or another person to a serious health and safety risk.
    Request assistance to resolve issues relating to the cessation of work(external link) — WorkSafe
  • Develop or use existing internal mechanisms for regularly checking in with workers, collecting feedback, reporting incidents, and keeping a record of what has happened.

My Vaccine Pass is available to every New Zealander who is double vaccinated, and to the small number of New Zealanders who are medically exempt from receiving the vaccine.

Some people have had difficulty obtaining their My Vaccine Pass and have been issued with letters for use until they receive their My Vaccine Pass.  These are issued by the Ministry of Health letterhead, and are signed by Dr Ashley Bloomfield, and businesses should sight these to permit customer entry.

There are no circumstances in which a letter from a GP or health provider could be used in place of My Vaccine Pass.

Information on My Vaccine Pass and exemptions can be found on the Ministry of Health website.

COVID-19 vaccine exemptions and certificates(external link) — Ministry of Health