50 breaches of traffic light system reported in South

Fifty possible breaches of the new traffic light system in Otago and Southland were reported to WorkSafe last month, figures reveal.

But no infringement notices have been handed out.

On December 3, the Government’s new Covid-19 Protection Framework came into effect, replacing the alert level system.

The traffic light settings are aimed at allowing businesses to open and operate with greater flexibility, while minimising the virus’ spread, using tools such as My Vaccine Pass.

WorkSafe’s figures show there were 50 possible breaches reported in the South — 29 in Otago and 21 in Southland — from December 3 to December 23.

The breaches could have included issues around face mask use, physical distancing requirements, QR code compliance and vax pass requirements.

Nationally only two businesses — Auckland gym, Oliver MMA and Christchurch vegetarian restaurant Lotus-Heart — have been prosecuted.

Oliver MMA was fined $12,000 for knowingly allowing unvaccinated staff to work.

Under traffic light setting red, gyms can only open with number limits if staff and customers are vaccinated.

Lotus-Heart was fined $20,000 for multiple Covid-19 rule breaches, which included failing to properly display My Vaccine Pass signs.

It also failed to display a QR code in a prominent place and did not have systems or processes to check diners' vaccine passes.

WorkSafe issued three infringement notices to the business and warned it could issue another fine if it finds staff are not vaccinated.

The regions with the most reported breaches were Canterbury and the West Coast with 156 breaches, followed by Central Auckland with 141 and Bay of Plenty with 135.

There were 1042 possible breaches throughout the country.

From August 18 to December 2, 2021, under the alert level system, there were 110 possible breaches reported to WorkSafe in Otago and 89 in Southland.

WorkSafe will update the numbers on January 14.

riley.kennedy@odt.co.nz

 

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