Covid-19 Response

You will be aware that all of New Zealand moves to Alert Level 2 at 11.59 pm tonight Tuesday 7th September 2021 apart from the Auckland Region which will remain in Alert Level 4. Those dates are to be reviewed by the Government on Monday 13th September 2021. You will also be aware that Alert level 2 rules have been strengthened.

Update 7.09.2021

In keeping with the New Zealand Government guidelines all Vinnies shops and staff must follow public health rules. Details for Alert Levels can be found at:



Alert Level 2 rules and guidelines

Shopping and Services at Alert Level 2

At Alert Level 2, all shops and services can operate but with extra safety measures. Remember to scan in using the NZ COVID Tracer app, and turn on Bluetooth tracing.

Guidance for workers

  • All customer-facing staff legally must wear a face covering while serving customers.
  • All workers must be physically separated from customers by 2 metres.

Guidance for customers

  • All customers legally must wear a face covering in supermarkets and retail stores.
  • Keep a record of wherever you visit.
  • Follow physical distancing measures.

Supermarkets and retail stores

You can go in-store to shop but you will need to keep 2 metres apart from people you do not know. Retail stores and supermarkets may limit the number of people allowed on their premises to help with physical distancing.

Do not shop if you are sick, have symptoms of COVID-19, or have been told to self-isolate.

We will keep you updated. Please stay safe and follow the rules.

Golden Rules for Alert Level 1

  1. If you’re sick, stay home. Don’t go to work or school. Don’t socialise.
  2. If you have cold or flu symptoms call your doctor or Healthline and make sure you get tested.
  3. Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.
  4. Sneeze and cough into your elbow, and regularly disinfect shared surfaces.
  5. If you are told by health authorities to self-isolate you must do so immediately.
  6. If you’re concerned about your wellbeing, or have underlying health conditions, work with your GP to understand how best to stay healthy.
  7. Keep track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen to help contact tracing if needed. Use the NZ COVID Tracer app as a handy way of doing this.
  8. Businesses should help people keep track of their movements by displaying the Ministry of Health QR Code for contact tracing.
  9. Stay vigilant. There is still a global pandemic going on. People and businesses should be prepared to act fast to step up Alert Levels if we have to.
  10. People will have had different experiences over the last couple of months. Whatever you’re feeling — it’s okay. Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself.

Alert Level 2 - Covid-19 (Coronavirus) and the activities of St Vincent de Paul

The Society of St Vincent de Paul in New Zealand recognises the threat from Coronavirus to its staff and volunteers and the people we serve.

We recognise the special vulnerability that comes with age and poor general health .

The strategies recommended below will diminish the opportunities for the transmission of the virus in the particular activities which form the basis of our work. Our advice on any of these matters may change as the situation changes.  We will remain in touch and provide updates as soon as possible.

Keep in touch with your staff and volunteers.  Reassure them that you care about their wellbeing and are managing this situation as best you can.

The Guidelines below follow  the protocols  provided by The Ministry of Health.  We are bound in law to follow their direction. You can access these guidelines on the website:

Recommended protocols for personal safety are as follows:

Practice good hygiene

  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or by covering your mouth and nose with tissues. 
  • Put used tissues in the bin or a bag immediately. 
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often.- before eating or handling food, after coughing or sneezing, wiping your nose or going to the toilet. 
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell. 
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell and call Healthline on 0800 358 5453. 

The measures above are especially important for people who have existing health conditions, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, chronic lung disease or compromised immune systems.

Alert Level 2 - Guidelines for our most common activities

Society Meetings:  Do not attend meetings if you are unwell or self-isolating.  Use telephone and email communication  as the primary form of communication.  If you need to meet,  choose a meeting space where you can remain a suitable distance (1 meter) from others.  Our insurance broker recommends no more than 9/10 people  Observe the recommended protocols above.

Visiting those in need:  Do not visit vulnerable people in their homes.

Community gatherings and one on one meetings with those in need: this includes meals, afternoon teas, entertainment, face to face counselling, budget advice  and other miscellaneous client meetings.  Suspend community gatherings and one on one meetings until this crisis has passed.

Food preparation and delivery: Minimise the number of people involved in food preparation and delivery, without overburdening individuals. Wear disposable gloves and a mask while preparing food. Wrap the food as soon as it is prepared. Maintain a one meter distance from people receiving the food.

Clean your hands: Regardless of whether you wear disposable gloves you should wash your hands regularly. You should wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, making sure you dry them thoroughly. You can use hand sanitiser (containing at least 60 percent alcohol) if soap and water are not available and if your hands are not visibly dirty. If using handsanitiser, cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Clean your preparation area: Wash items such as dishes, drinking glasses, cups and eating utensils in the dishwasher (you should use a commercial cleaner if you have one) or use soap/detergent and water to wash them thoroughly. Clean all ‘high-touch’ surfaces with antiseptic wipes or disinfectant. Clean floors.

Laundry: Wash laundry items and dry thoroughly outside or with a dryer. Wear disposable gloves while handling soiled items.

Food parcels: Preferably, all food parcels and vouchers can be collected by the recipient from a designated point.  If delivered, the person delivering must not enter homes or premises.

School Lunches and food trucks:  Follow the food preparation advice above  and any other guidance given by the local Area President.

Alert Level 2 - Shop and pickup delivery staff

People who are vulnerable because of pre-existing health conditions should be given the option to remain home.

Staff who have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus in the last 14 days must isolate themselves for 14 days after the date of last contact with the confirmed case.

Shop managers should provide information and brief all staff (including volunteers) on relevant information and procedures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

All shop sorters are to wear disposable gloves.  This is to be enforced by shop managers and supervisors.

Keep high touch areas clean.  Assign a person to clean door handles,  counters etc. – regularly throughout the day.  Suggest every 2 hours or as needed.

Try to maintain the recommended 1 meter distance from others  – and 2 meters if a person has symptoms.

Send home any staff member or volunteer  who becomes unwell at work.

Any or all of these activities may be suspended in the future.  We have our ears close to the ground for safety updates and will remain in communication with you.

Gabrielle Carman

Chair Health and Safety Committee

(06 758 9228)

"No form of help is foreign to the Society. This includes any form of help that alleviates suffering or deprivation and promotes human dignity and personal integrity in all their dimensions."

Rule 1.3 of the Society