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Vaccine passes: the police and the Ministry of Health will not say if spot checks have been discussed

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The Department of Health and police decline to say whether they have discussed conducting random spot checks at sites to see if people are using valid vaccine passes, amid concerns over permit fraud. pass vaccine.

The ministry has delayed a response to the police.

A police spokesperson said he was working with other government agencies to assess “potential compliance violations and concerns,” but would not directly answer whether the random checks had been a problem. subject of discussion.

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WorkSafe said it is analyzing complaints it has received about companies’ enforcement of vaccine passage rules to see if there are any trends, such as emerging issues in particular parts of the country or areas. industries.

WorkSafe, which is an agency of the Department of Enterprise, Innovation and Employment, received a total of 177 complaints about locations breaking Covid rules between December 3 – when the Covid alert system ” traffic lights ”went into effect – and last Thursday.

But a spokesperson said he couldn’t easily determine how many of those potential violations involved claims that sites had failed to verify or apply passes for vaccines.

The total would have included other complaints, such as companies failing to follow rules regarding face masks, physical distancing requirements and scanning of QR codes, he said.

A North Island bar owner said he observed companies failing to screen and turned away 50 people who tried to enter their premises using bogus vaccine passes on the first Saturday evening where they had become mandatory – a scenario they feared to repeat around the country.

There’s not much to stop unvaccinated people from using bogus passes, unless companies voluntarily choose to scan and not just sight passes, or to prevent customers from use “borrowed” vaccine passes belonging to other people, unless they also do separate checks of clients’ photo IDs.

The health ministry said – before the switch to the traffic light system – that spot checks of vaccines by the police were an option.

WorkSafe describes the vaccine runs as a

WorkSafe describes the vaccine runs as a “model of high confidence”.

However, comments from WorkSafe and the police seem to suggest that their first step may be to act only on complaints from companies that do not follow the rules.

“To date, police have focused on helping people understand and adapt to Covid’s new protective framework,” the police spokesperson said.

“All identified non-compliance issues, including misuse of the vaccine passport, are assigned to the appropriate government agency for review and action, if appropriate. “

The WorkSafe spokesperson acknowledged that the vaccine passes were “a model of great confidence.”

“However, based on experience with the Alert Level Framework, companies can expect significant return from their customers and competitors if they don’t play by the rules,” he said. .