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Vaccine passes required at Hastings libraries and gallery

In the interests of safety and wellbeing Hastings District Council has amended its COVID-19 vaccine pass requirements at some of its facilities.

From Monday, January 24, entry to the Hastings District Libraries (Hastings, Havelock North and Flaxmere) and the Hastings City Art Gallery will require proof of full COVID-19 vaccination by all users aged 12 years and three months and over.

Hastings District Council chief executive Nigel Bickle said it was a challenging decision to make, given the council’s desire to ensure accessibility of council services to all of the community. 

“What is of utmost importance is the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff in these facilities, and the wellbeing of our community. “With new community cases in Hastings and the likelihood of Omicron arriving shortly, this decision is about doing what we can to minimise the risks.

“Our libraries and Gallery and the services they provide are hugely important to our community and over the last 18 to 24 months our teams have developed programmes that will enable those people who are not vaccinated to still be connected and use our services remotely.”

Both facilities have online programmes for a variety of ages, and the libraries have also developed digital borrowing services such as Pick & Mix, where librarians make a selection for borrowers based on their preferences. 

These are packaged up, put against people’s library card accounts and can be collected at a pre-arranged timeslot.  The team can also continue to support families digitally, including via the Skinny Jump programme.

At the Gallery, free public art walking tours are held once a month over summer, which simply require 1m social distancing (though masks or face coverings are recommended). To join the tour, meet outside the Gallery just before 11am on Saturday, January 22, February 26 or March 19.

And to keep the kids occupied for the last two weeks of the school holidays, there are free Art-to-Go 
activity packs, which can be collected contactless from the Gallery between now and the end of January. 

To arrange this, people can call the Gallery on 06 871 5095 and provide their name and collection time, and day and a pack will be left just outside the main Gallery door.

In addition to requiring vaccine passes, all staff and visitors aged 12 or older are legally required to wear a mask  or  face covering at all these facilities. If people have a medical exemption from wearing a mask, they are asked to show this to staff when they enter .
Visitors must also sign into the libraries and Gallery ,  by either scanning the COVID QR code using the NZ COVID Tracer app, or filling in their details on the form provided, then  placing them in our private contact tracing box. 

Of the country’s 67 territorial authorities, 36 require vaccine passes at their libraries. 
Council will continue to monitor the situation regarding other council facilities which ,  at this stage ,  remain vaccine pass-free .  This  could be reviewed as the COVID situation evolves.