COVID 19 Update: 23 March 2022


Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced this morning several changes to the government’s COVID-19 response:

  • All vaccine mandates for the education sector are to be removed from 11.59pm on Monday April 4.
  • Vaccine passes will no longer be required to be used from April 4.
  • Contact tracing requirements will be removed from 4 April. 

Ardern also announced several changes to the traffic light system:

  •  From midnight Friday, there will be no limits on outdoor gatherings, including at red settings.
  • The number of people allowed to gather inside will increase from 100 to 200 under the red traffic light setting.
  • Face masks will continue to be used within the traffic light framework, as mask wearing is still reducing transmission rates by about 50%.

What this means for Playcentres across New Zealand

Work has been underway in anticipation of an announcement like this.  However, it has come sooner than we originally thought. We are currently awaiting further advice from both the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and we will be preparing Playcentre specific advice based upon their guidance, which will include a review of our health and safety policy. 

Naturally, we will be getting further information, guidance, and advice out to centres as soon as we can.

Keeping our tamariki safe

 Until 11.59pm on Monday 4 April, the vaccination mandate remains in effect.  Please continue to follow existing public health measures and if you are unwell, stay at home.

Last year Playcentre Aotearoa wrote to the Prime Minister on a range of topics, including making Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) available for use before Playcentre sessions.

We are delighted to report that RATs distribution is now available for Playcentres.

We encourage all our centres to register for their RATs distribution as soon as possible and this can be done by going to:

Rapid Antigen Test Online Form

The Ministry will get you a supply of tests as soon as they can after the form has been completed. 

Centres can opt in to receive Rapid Antigen Testing supplies, but this is not a requirement for attending Playcentre.

Further information about Rapid Antigen Test ordering for early learning services (ie. Playcentres) can be found on the website.

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should isolate for 7 days.  Household contacts are also required to isolate for the same seven days as the case.

For more information please see the COVID-19 Protection Framework section of our COVID-19 FAQs page.

Parents and tamariki who test positive for COVID-19 are not required to self-isolate past seven days under public health regulations, but they should not return to Playcentre if they are still feeling unwell.

On Monday 14 March, all centres were sent an email titled “Survey on financial information – please pass on to your treasurer”. 

This email contains a link to a survey for all centre treasurers to complete. 

We’ve had some reports of these emails going to junk or spam folders.  If you did not receive this email, please contact us at [email protected] and we will send you the link to the survey.

If you have feedback on this update, please contact us at [email protected]z