Full vaccination required to stay at NZ DOC accommodation

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Full vaccination required to stay at NZ DOC accommodation

Postby wayno » Thu 02 Dec, 2021 1:23 pm

https://www.doc.govt.nz/news/media-rele ... mmodation/

“This means from 15 December 2021, eligible people, aged 12 years three months and over, must be fully vaccinated to stay in a DOC hut or campsite, says Department of Conservation (DOC) Heritage and Visitors Director Steve Taylor.

“We are also consulting this week on a health and safety requirement that all DOC staff, contractors and volunteers must be vaccinated to work in or visit DOC workplaces including Visitor Centres. We will be finalising a vaccination policy for staff in the next fortnight.

“DOC’s accommodation is often remote, off the grid and brings people together from all locations. Vaccination provides a higher level of protection and significantly reduces the risk of infection spreading and people suffering serious illness.

“Our visitor survey data and visitor feedback show a strong public desire for confidence that others sharing DOC accommodation are also vaccinated.

“All DOC campgrounds and huts will only be open to those who are fully vaccinated. When booking, visitors will be required to confirm they and all others in their group are fully vaccinated. Hut wardens and camp hosts are regularly on site and will be checking for vaccination status.

“For more remote huts and smaller campsites that are not bookable, there will be spot checks. Visitors will need to make a judgment on whether they are comfortable with that.

“Where issues arise for higher-risk sites – such as popular unbookable huts and campsites – some facilities may need to be closed at Red or Orange and people should prepare for this possibility when planning a trip.

“We are asking all members of the public to respect the health and safety of others. When requested you must show your COVID-19 vaccine verification. We will be monitoring peoples’ compliance and regularly reviewing our policy. If there are problems with non-compliance, DOC will assess whether facilities need to be closed.

“People who are not fully vacccinated can still use tracks and most DOC toilets but cannot use DOC hut facilities or DOC campgrounds.

"We will be contacting people ahead of their bookings advising them they need to be fully vaccinated otherwise their booking will need to be cancelled.

"Cancellations are easy and DOC will provide a full refund to those who are unwell, subject to travel restrictions, concerned about COVID risks or who are not fully vaccinated.

“DOC staff will be undertaking health and safety spot checks for confirmation of vaccination status. Where practical, we will be turning those without a COVID-19 vaccine verification away and where appropriate, taking safety measures to isolate them from other hut and campsite users.

“These health and safety measures are being implemented to help keep visitors and staff safe and ensure New Zealanders can have a fantastic summer enjoying nature,” says Mr Taylor.

Visit http://www.doc.govt.nz/accommodation-vaccine-policy for further information.
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Re: Full vaccination required to stay at NZ DOC accommodatio

Postby headwerkn » Thu 02 Dec, 2021 2:08 pm

Good. Hopefully we can implement this for the entirety of Tasmania too in due course.
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Re: Full vaccination required to stay at NZ DOC accommodatio

Postby Aardvark » Thu 02 Dec, 2021 5:47 pm

I don't get the need for the ignorance or the fear mongering.
I'm fully vaccinated but vaccinated or not, you can still carry the virus.
The unvaccinated are subject to greater harm.
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Re: Full vaccination required to stay at NZ DOC accommodatio

Postby ribuck » Thu 02 Dec, 2021 6:12 pm

Outdoor pursuits are low risk, even if you spend the night in a draughty hut or campsite, but the authorities can't resist an excuse to increase their power.

I'm vaccinated, and happy to share a hut with those who aren't.
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Re: Full vaccination required to stay at NZ DOC accommodatio

Postby geoskid » Thu 02 Dec, 2021 7:43 pm

headwerkn wrote:Good. Hopefully we can implement this for the entirety of Tasmania too in due course.

Agreed. Thanks for your forthrightness. The recalcitrants being told no, no you can't walk amomgst us. No doubt there will be tears and sophistry. Meh, choices have consequences.
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Re: Full vaccination required to stay at NZ DOC accommodatio

Postby wayno » Fri 03 Dec, 2021 3:22 am

ribuck wrote:Outdoor pursuits are low risk, even if you spend the night in a draughty hut or campsite, but the authorities can't resist an excuse to increase their power.

I'm vaccinated, and happy to share a hut with those who aren't.


great walks huts sleep up to 40 in a bunk room some sleep shoulder to shoulder on sleeping platforms... the potential for spreading the disease is there.
Last edited by wayno on Fri 03 Dec, 2021 6:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Full vaccination required to stay at NZ DOC accommodatio

Postby north-north-west » Fri 03 Dec, 2021 6:10 am

ribuck wrote:I'm vaccinated, and happy to share a hut with those who aren't.


I'm vaccinated and I'm not happy. Not that I'm a hut person. But unless people have genuine medical reasons for not being vaccinated, they can keep their self-entitled, ignorant and arrogant plague-rat selves away from me.
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Re: Full vaccination required to stay at NZ DOC accommodatio

Postby nezumi » Fri 03 Dec, 2021 8:09 pm

I think this is a good decision, especially since the holdouts are often staying that way for selfish reasons, or have fallen for lies.

While the risk of transmission is reduced if you are vaccinated, it's even further reduced if both people are vaccinated. On top of that, herd immunity is only effective at higher levels of vaccination, so if we want to reduce the potential for new variants and the risk to those who are unable to be vaccinated, we need everyone who can to step up.

These huts place people in close proximity for an extended time, so it's pretty reasonable to expect people to be vaccinated.
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Re: Full vaccination required to stay at NZ DOC accommodatio

Postby Nuts » Sat 04 Dec, 2021 7:59 am

Toilets but not campgrounds, how bizarre.
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Re: Full vaccination required to stay at NZ DOC accommodatio

Postby Joynz » Sat 04 Dec, 2021 8:02 am

I’m really pleased to hear about this move by DOC.

Unfortunately, it’s looking like my Heaphy Track walk in late January won’t be a goer. I can get there in time, but not sure how to do the 7-day self isolation requirement in a location where I don‘t know anyone.
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Re: Full vaccination required to stay at NZ DOC accommodatio

Postby myrtlegirl » Mon 06 Dec, 2021 12:06 pm

Nuts wrote:Toilets but not campgrounds, how bizarre.


I can think of a couple of reasons why this is the case.
- people aren't in the loo for more than a few minutes (usually)
- people are in the loo on their own (usually)
- if the loos aren't available for everyone to use, then the unvaxxed will have to 'go' bush, which is another public health issue
- having dunny police would be awfully tricky. I'm imagining a person with a desperate need turning up at said dunny and not being able to produce their vax certificate :D . A $!#tfight would not be a metaphorical term.

Having said this, vaccine mandates need to be very carefully used to minimise far-right groups using them as a way to whip up fear and loathing.
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Re: Full vaccination required to stay at NZ DOC accommodatio

Postby Nuts » Mon 06 Dec, 2021 2:59 pm

These are very fair points, I can picture a number of people not going to the toilet just coz it's open to all. Or others just camping away or avoiding booking. Social distancing so far in Tassie and this is fair. Personally I'd rather not share facilities with someone unvaxxed/vaxxed anytime soon but i'm not sure every other effort should be made. None of my business, but NZ has a million unvaxxed. Even without the far right or even the necessarily religious sharing parks campgrounds it must leave 00' 000's with legitimate reasons (struggling to find somewhere safe other than home)), We vaxxed are relatively safe, while they have every right to very fearful. Still isolated, and likely the next new marginalised.
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