Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Visitors to Auckland Zoo, museums and libraries may need to be fully vaccinated

The Auckland Museum and other council facilities could be closed to people not vaccinated against Covid.

Popular Auckland attractions like the zoo, museum, art gallery and libraries could be added to the growing list of places, events and jobs closed to people who are not fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

And Kiwis who wish to see Lorde perform on her Solar Power tour in Western Springs on March 5 are likely to fall under an executive order from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern that only fully vaccinated people will be able to attend festivals in summer.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said today discussions are underway about what council facilities and staff could be mandated for the vaccination.

His comments follow yesterday’s announcement by Covid-19 Recovery Minister Chris Hipkins demanding that hundreds of thousands of healthcare and education workers be doubly vaccinated by December 1 and December 1 January respectively.

Orangutans are enjoying the new primate habitat at Auckland Zoo.  Photo / Michael Craig
Orangutans are enjoying the new primate habitat at Auckland Zoo. Photo / Michael Craig

Speaking on student radio station bFM this morning, Goff said the Auckland Museum, Auckland Art Gallery, Motat, a zoo and event venues like the Civic Theater were among the facilities. of the council envisaged.

In a typical year 700,000 people visit the zoo, the art gallery attracts around 60,000 visitors, and the Auckland Museum expects 659,000 visitors this year.

Goff said the government has not gone beyond healthcare and education workers at this point, but the council is waiting for a signal from the government that the council and others can follow suit.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff.

If people aren’t allowed to attend events that aren’t doubly vaccinated, Goff said, then you can’t have staff who aren’t doubly vaccinated.

He said the council was going to have to make decisions about council staff in public roles in places like the zoo, museum and art gallery, but also staff at the city’s 55 libraries.

“We will have to adapt as an organization unless the government enacts a more general mandate rule,” he said.

Ardern announced last week that those wishing to attend music festivals over the summer will need to prove that they have been vaccinated against Covid-19 as a condition of entry.

Such a rule is likely to spread to municipal venues, like Mt Smart and Western Springs, which host many of the city’s large outdoor concerts.

Over the summer, the council’s events arm, Auckland Unlimited, has scheduled a number of concerts in Western Springs, including Lorde’s Solar Power Tour on March 5, LAB on January 22, and Outerfields, featuring Fat Freddy’s Drop, Benee and The Beths, December 4.

Lorde is scheduled to play at Western Springs on March 5.
Lorde is scheduled to play at Western Springs on March 5.

Motorsport fans have the Repco Bathurst 1000 Boot Party on December 5th at Western Springs and the speedway from October 16th to March 26th.

A range of cultural events are also planned over the coming months, including A French Christmas at Auckland Town Hall on December 5 and the Wonderland Warehouse Party at Shed 10 on Queens Wharf on December 11.

Robbie Macrae, acting director of arts, entertainment and events at Auckland Unlimited, said the events will be run in accordance with the most recent Department of Health requirements.

“Auckland Unlimited supports the government’s message to encourage people to get vaccinated so that we can all enjoy concerts, theater performances and major events when alert levels permit.

“We are working with organizers and partners on several events planned over the summer period on what can be safely organized under the capabilities and restrictions of Covid-19,” Macrae said.

Eden Park, which does not belong to the council, will be the venue for the very first international concert on the sports field when Guns N ‘Roses performs there on December 10 of next year.

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