Requiring My Vaccine Passes for entry

The COVID-19 Protection Framework rules apply to all businesses, regardless of whether they choose to use My Vaccine Pass. If they wish, most businesses have the option of limiting access to their premises to people with a My Vaccine Pass (as a condition of entry), but this is no longer a requirement under the rules.

My Vaccine Pass updated

An updated My Vaccine Pass will be available from 24 May 2022 for anyone aged 12 and over who is up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations, as well as for those with a temporary medical exemption.

The new My Vaccine Pass will look different from the original.

If you are using My Vaccine Pass as an entry requirement, we recommend that you:

  • continue to accept the original version of the My Vaccine Pass, if that pass has not expired; and
  • train your staff so that they understand your policy and can communicate it to customers.

People can download a new My Vaccine Pass through My Covid Record:

My Covid Record(external link) — Ministry of Health NZ

More information on generating a My Vaccine Pass can be found on the Unite against COVID-19 website:

Proof of your vaccination status(external link) — Unite against COVID-19

Your rights around who can enter your premises

Most businesses can limit access to their premise to people with My Vaccine Pass, or similar, as a condition of entry.

Businesses can do this as long as:

  • it doesn’t breach any contractual restrictions (for example in a lease or under a franchise agreement)
  • it doesn’t breach any law, such as the COVID-19 Protection Framework Order (which prohibits certain places requiring My Vaccine Pass, like supermarkets or pharmacies) or the Human Rights Act. 

Access conditions are a business decision, and businesses do not need any further justification. Businesses may, however, choose to share their reasons for requiring vaccination, for example, where this is for consistency with an up-to-date work health and safety risk assessment.

There is, however, no obligation for a business to undertake a health and safety risk assessment or point to a public health basis for the access conditions that they set. If a business had based access conditions on these grounds, they may want to review those conditions to reflect updated public health advice.

The exception to this is vaccination requirements for workers or employees, where a business’ decision must:

  • be supported by a work health and safety risk assessment
  • reflect a third-party access requirement.

COVID-19 controls at work - employer vaccination requirements and other measures(external link) — WorkSafe

Vaccines and the workplace(external link) — Employment New Zealand

Checking My Vaccine Pass

Businesses choosing to require My Vaccine Pass as a condition of entry may continue to check customers' passes. We recommend that if this is implemented as a condition of entry, passes be checked 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).

  • Some businesses are prohibited from requiring My Vaccine Pass. 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 may ask to check ID in association with making this a condition of entry.
  • Businesses choosing to check customers’ passes are reminded to consider that if the customer is a child under the age of 12 years 3 months they will not have a My Vaccine Pass even if they have been vaccinated. Requirements should not include this age group, as it could be considered discrimination.
  • Businesses may not require My Vaccine Pass from students where their participation in an activity is organised, directed, authorised, or facilitated by a registered school. This includes education outside of the classroom, and representative activities.
    Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) guidelines(external link) — Ministry of Education
    Events and activities guidance for schools and kura(external link) — Ministry of Education
  • If a person was vaccinated against COVID-19 while overseas and want to obtain a My Vaccine Pass they will need to complete the online Overseas Vaccination Submission form. It may take some time to get a My Vaccine Pass.
    Overseas vaccination submission form(external link) — Ministry of Health
  • As checking a My Vaccine Pass is a business choice, businesses may also opt to accept other forms of evidence, such as international vaccination certificates. We recommend businesses consider the range of acceptable evidence in advance, and ensure staff understand the policy and are able to communicate it.

  • You can’t use the NZ Pass Verifier to scan International Travel Certificates.

NZ Pass Verifier app

  • It is up to the business to decide whether, and how frequently, they wish to verify a customer’s My Vaccine Pass.
  • The free NZ Pass Verifier app is available from the Apple and Google Play app stores for downloading. The app is used to verify a digital or printed My Vaccine Pass, 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, are 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 should display posters or signage indicating to customers if entry is contingent on having a My Vaccine Pass (as they would for any other condition of entry). These can be downloaded from the Unite against COVID-19 website.

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

It is recommended businesses provide staff with wording for customers who do not wish to comply with entry requirements, and for customers who may have an expired My Vaccine Pass, 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.

Keeping workers safe

Businesses must continue to comply with all 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
    • someone provides an expired My Vaccine Pass
    • 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 everyone who is up-to-date with their vaccinations, and to the small number of people who are medically exempt from receiving the vaccine.

You should also consider whether you will accept other evidence from a person who asserts they are exempt.

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

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