TAGS

Close Contacts – Bubble of One and Exemption Scheme

With a greater number of COVID-19 cases in the community, we have had an increased number of queries around close contacts returning to work during their required self-isolation time.

If you are considering a close contact Worker returning to work, please ensure you assess if they do actually need to be onsite (could they work remotely) and ensure you meet Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 requirements to maintain a safe operating environment while you have them onsite.

At Phase Two

  • anyone with symptoms must isolate and get a test
  • cases need to isolate for 10 days
  • household contacts need to isolate until the case completes 10 days (with tests on day three and eight).
  • close contacts need to isolate for seven days (with a test on day five).

If a close contact is vaccinated and asymptomatic, they may be able to continue to work if they:

  • work in a 'bubble of one' (if they are not customer facing, work alone and follow strict health protocols).
  • are a critical worker or works for a critical service provider (as per the Close Contact Exemption Scheme).

Note: Scroll to the bottom if you require a copy of our FREE ‘Letter of Authorisation’ template required by Critical Workers to access RAT tests

Bubble of One

In order to allow your close-contact Worker to continue working, they must:

  • be vaccinated
  • not have any symptoms (asymptomatic)
  • be able to maintain an individual ‘bubble of one’ while at work (whether indoors or outdoors)

You must ensure for each Bubble of One that they:

  • wear a medical mask at all times (including wearing a medical mask before entry to the workplace, and changing as needed during the day)
  • comply with any infection prevention and control protocols at work
  • work in an indoor or outdoor space with no others present in that space (defined as an indoor space that has direct airflow with other spaces, or an outdoor space that is separated by at least two metres from other outdoor spaces)
  • travel solo or with a household member, to, from and around work or between jobs 
  • eat alone in a well-ventilated space, outdoors where possible
  • use a dedicated bathroom (if this is not possible, no others should be present in the bathroom while the worker is using it)
  • ensure that if symptoms develop at any stage, they isolate at home and get tested

When not at work, the worker must self-isolate as per standard for close contacts, including testing.

Close Contact Exemption Scheme

If your Worker is deemed to be a ‘Critical Worker’ or your business is registered as a ‘Critical Service Provider’, your close-contact Worker may continue to work so long as:

  • they are vaccinated
  • they do not have any symptoms (asymptomatic)
  • they return a negative rapid antigen test prior to each day/shift they are at work during the isolation period

You must ensure for each Worker under the Exemption Scheme that they:

  • wear a medical mask at all times (including wearing a medical mask before entry to the workplace, and changing as needed during the day)
  • ensure anyone working in the same defined space must also wear a medical mask 
  • comply with any infection prevention and control protocols at work
  • if possible, travel solo or with a household member, to, from and around work or between jobs (If public transport is required to go to work, the RAT test should be taken, and a negative result returned, before leaving home) 
  • eat alone in a well-ventilated space, outdoors where possible 
  • use a dedicated bathroom (if this is not possible, no others should be present in the bathroom while the worker is using it) 
  • ensure that if symptoms develop at any stage, they isolate at home and get tested

The FAQ's

How do I register as a Critical Service?
Register for Close Contact Exemption Scheme(external link) — Business Connect

Where do I find information regarding RAT’s for Critical Workers?
Rapid antigen testing | Ministry of Health NZ

What documentation must our Critical Worker take with them to access their RAT tests?

  • A printed or digital copy of the email that the business received from the Critical Services Register, which records that they have declared themselves as a critical service and contains a unique identifier for that business
  • The business will then need to write an authorisation letter for the worker. This letter, must include:
  1. a declaration that the business and worker are critical, with a rationale (businesses may include the output of the self-assessment tool)
  2. an outline of the protocols the worker will need to follow to mitigate transmission risks (including, but not limited to the list above) 
  3. the business’s unique identifier from the Critical Services Register email. 
  • Along with their vaccine pass and the above documentation, the worker should also take the following to the collection point:
  1. Personal ID like a Driver’s Licence to prove who they are, and
  2. The text message confirming they are a close contact and therefore eligible for a test. 

Does OSHbox have an ‘Authorisation Letter’ template we could use?
Do you even know us?! YES of course. Download the template below.



 

This product has been added to your cart

CHECKOUT