Health Order to be removed for firefighters

Issue date:

BREAKING NEWS - Health Order to be removed for firefighters

Yesterday, the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Amendment Order (No 5) 2022 was published. This amends the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 which required  FENZ operational personnel to be fully vaccinated.

 You can view the Amendment Order here: COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Amendment Order (No 5) 2022 (SL 2022/207) – New Zealand Legislation

Notably, the amendments made to item 7.2 which change the roles and types of workers covered by the Health Order. 

Under item 7.2 vaccination is now only required for workers who are employed or engaged by a general practice or a pharmacy and whose role involves being within 2 metres or less of a health practitioner or a member of the public for a period of 15 minutes or more.

FENZ have completed an external legal review to determine that these changes remove all Fire and Emergency roles from coverage under the Health Order, meaning that operational personnel will no longer be required to be vaccinated to undertake their Fire and Emergency duties.

These amendments to the Order come into effect from 11.59pm on 7 July 2022 and at that time roles previously covered by the Health Order will then only be covered by Fire and Emergency’s Vaccination Policy which only requires vaccination for international travel.

FENZ also advises that they are working through how they manage unvaccinated individuals who may be required to undertake ‘high risk activities’ as part of their role. In this context, FENZ define high-risk activities are non-emergency situations where PPE is not worn, and FENZ personnel are engaging with people who are less likely to be vaccinated or are at greater risk of severe illness should they contract COVID-19. 

FENZ will be reaching out to personnel who may have stepped away from duties over recent months and advise they will be following a clear, consistent process to manage their reintegration in a safe and respectful manner. Further information to follow about this over the coming days. The UFBA, through our COVID-19 reference group, will continue to engage with FENZ throughout this process, as we have done consistently for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UFBA, like FENZ understand how challenging this time has been for many people.

If members have any concerns, please contact our Advocacy and Support team on 0508 832 269 or email support@ufba.org.nz