New requirements for evidence of COVID-19 test at checkpoints
Police are reminding all permitted workers, including freight drivers, intending to travel through the Alert Level Boundary checkpoints around Auckland to ensure they carry evidence to prove they have had a COVID-19 test in the past seven days.
A number of vehicles, including heavy freight trucks, were turned around at the checkpoints overnight following the new requirement for permitted workers to provide this evidence if crossing alert boundaries, which came into effect at 11.59pm yesterday.
A number of truck drivers were turned around overnight and again today for failing to provide the necessary evidence.
Some drivers did not have any evidence of having had a COVID-19 test in the past seven days, while a few drivers were turned away after providing records of tests they’d had from more than seven days ago, which is outside the required time period.
Other vehicles were turned away because one or more of the occupants inside the vehicle did not have proof of having had a COVID-19 test in the past seven days.
Police will continue to stop and check that permitted workers, including freight drivers, travelling through these checkpoints are able to provide this evidence.
Evidence of the test can include a text message, which will be automatically generated when the test is taken, or paper confirmation issued by the testing centres.
If the worker has had a medical examination instead of a test, they must have an electronic or paper copy of that medical certificate to show Police at the checkpoint.
Permitted workers must also continue to carry evidence for their reason for crossing the Alert level boundary, and photo identification.
Further information can be found here: https://covid19.govt.nz/travel/permitted-travel-at-different-alert-levels/business-travel-across-an-alert-level-boundary/
Other checkpoint incidents
While overall compliance levels remain extremely high, Police are continuing to see a few incidents of people deliberately breaching the restrictions at the checkpoints.
Yesterday afternoon a vehicle failed to pull over at the northern SH1 checkpoint and fled north. The driver of the vehicle was subsequently located last night and spoken to by Police.
Police are making further enquiries to establish the full circumstances surrounding this incident and charges are likely.
In another incident, a driver was stopped and questioned at the same checkpoint yesterday. It was established they had spent the past three weeks in Auckland at a friend’s house and wanted to travel back to their residence in Northland.
After being advised this wasn’t allowed and being directed to turnaround, the driver ignored Police and continued to drive north.
Officers from the checkpoint followed the vehicle and signalled it to pull over before the driver eventually turned around and went back through the checkpoint. The driver will be receiving an infringement notice.
Police at the northern SH1 checkpoint also noticed a woman travelling back into Auckland who was let through from Northland on the premise that she was feeding stock.
As she travelled through the checkpoint, officers spotted shopping in her vehicle, which she admitted to when questioned. She was issued with an infringement notice for breaching COVID-19 restrictions.
The actions of these individuals are incredibly disappointing, while also posing a risk to the wider community.
With Alert Level restrictions in place for several weeks, Police have a very low tolerance for anyone deliberately ignoring the restriction rules and enforcement action is likely to be taken.
Checkpoint compliance update
(Please note, the latest figures available are up until 11.59pm yesterday, before the new checkpoint requirements for Covid-19 tests came into effect. The earliest figures around vehicles being turned around today at checkpoints won’t be available until tomorrow.)
As of 11.59pm yesterday, a total of 149,309 vehicles have now been stopped at the 10 checkpoints on Auckland’s northern and southern boundaries since 11.59pm on 31 August.
A total of 1,652 vehicles have been turned around during this time.
15,824 vehicles were processed at the checkpoints yesterday while only 119 vehicles were turned around.
A total of 40 vehicles were turned away at the Northern checkpoints yesterday while 79 vehicles were turned around at the Southern checkpoints.
Tāmaki Makaurau compliance update
Since Alert Level 4 came into place, in Tāmaki Makaurau 77 people have been charged with a total of 81 offences as at 5pm yesterday (16 September 2021).
Of these, 64 are for Failing to Comply with Order (COVID-19), 14 for Failure to Comply with Direction/Prohibition/Restriction, one for Failing to Stop (COVID 19-related), and two for Assaults/Threatens/Hinders/Obstructs Enforcement Officer.
In the same time period, 177 people were formally warned for a range of offences.
To date, Police have received a total of 8,781 105-online breach notifications relating to businesses, mass gatherings or people in Tāmaki Makaurau.
Alert Level 2 compliance update
Six people have been charged with a total of nine offences in Alert Level 2, as at 5pm yesterday (16 September 2021).
Of these, six are for Failing to Comply with Order (Covid-19), two for Failing to Stop (Covid-related), and one for Assaults/Threatens/Hinders/Obstructs Enforcement Officer.
In the same time period, three people have been warned – two for Failure to Comply with Direction/Prohibition/Restriction and one for Failing to Comply with Order (Covid-19).
To date, Police have received a total of 506 105-online breach notifications relating to businesses, mass gatherings or people in Alert Level 2.
Nick Baker/NZ Police