Museum vaccination policies anticipated

It may be early next month before Dunedin public pools, libraries and museums will be able to say whether staff and visitors will need to be double vaccinated to gain entry.

An Otago Museum spokeswoman said the issue was to be discussed by the board next week and it was hoped an announcement would be made early next month.

A Dunedin City Council spokesman said the situation was similar at Toitu Otago Settlers’ Museum and at Dunedin’s public pools and libraries.

"At this stage, we are undertaking risk assessments and working through Government and WorkSafe guidance, so we’re not yet able to say what the requirements for our facilities will be."

It comes after Te Papa chief executive Courtney Johnston and Maori co-leader Arapata Hakiwai announced yesterday, all visitors to Te Papa would be required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

The requirement would come into effect when New Zealand implements the flexible 3-level Covid traffic light system.

Ms Johnston said children under 12, who could not yet be vaccinated, would be exempt from the requirement.

"Requiring vaccination will make Te Papa as safe as it can be, and keep the museum accessible for as many manuhiri as possible.

"This is a decision we have thought through very carefully.

"Te Papa is the museum for all New Zealand, and accessibility is vitally important."

She said the measure would be regularly reviewed as the Covid situation evolved.

The museum will use My Vaccine Pass to check the vaccination status of visitors.

The museum is also proposing vaccination against Covid-19 be required for all its 600 staff, as well as contractors and volunteers.

Consultation with staff would begin next Monday and a policy would be approved once feedback was incorporated, she said.

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