My Vaccine Passes will be a condition of entry at Hamilton City Council facilities for all people aged 12 years and older from as early as this Friday.
Other facilities, including libraries and the museum, will not allow entry without proof of vaccination from 14 December as Hamilton prepares for Life at Orange in the COVID-19 Protection Framework.
Councillors made the decision at an Extraordinary Council meeting today, based on government guidance and on legal advice about protecting staff and the community.
While Council facilities and services will remain largely unchanged from Alert Level 2 under the new framework, My Vaccine Passes will be required as follows:
From 3 December 2021:
- H3 facilities including Claudelands Event Centre, FMG Stadium and Seddon Park.
- Hamilton Pools (Waterworld and the Gallagher Pool Aquatic Centre).
From 14 December 2021:
- Hamilton City Libraries
- Hamilton Zoo
- Waikato Museum
- ArtsPost and i-SITE
- The Chapels at Hamilton Park Cemetery
- Te Rapa Sportsdrome
- Enderley Community Centre
- Hamilton Gardens Café, Hamilton Gardens Pavilion and Shop and Hamilton Gardens Enclosed/Themed Gardens
- Customer Service Centre and Council Chambers in the Municipal Building
Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate said no-one welcomed having to make these “quite extraordinary and unprecedented” decisions.
“But these are extraordinary and tough times and we have a legal obligation to keep our staff safe, and to keep members of the public safe,” she said.
“I’m heartened by the fact that nearly 94% of Hamiltonians have had at least one vaccine and I thank people for that. But I acknowledge this will make it harder for a small minority of people who have made a different choice.”
Thorough risk assessments across services were undertaken and showed all services present a risk of COVID-19 transmission. It also highlighted the need to protect essential Council workers to keep our city’s infrastructure running and ensure specialists, such as Zoo Keepers, were safe.
Chief Executive Lance Vervoort acknowledged in a statement yesterday some members of the community will not have access to Council facilities in the same way they do now.
“We’ve learnt a lot in the past two years about changing the way we do things, like offering click and collect services at the library and offering virtual tours of our Zoo and Museum. We’re continuing to look for innovative ways to provide Hamiltonians with access to these services in a safe and COVID-friendly way.”
More detail about each Council facility operating in Orange will be available on the website soon.
Hamilton City Council understand that other councils around the Waikato are expected to consider the same issues over coming days.