New individualised Face Mask Exemption cards became available on May 31.
The Face Covering Exemption cards DPA sent out are still valid and people can continue using that card.
However, the Ministry of Health is encouraging people to apply for the new mask exemption card as it is linked to their NHI number, has their name on it and will be conclusive evidence of a person’s exempt status.
Covid-19 Orders have been amended to provide that the new card is conclusive proof that someone is exempt.
To apply for one of the new passes you can either:
· Apply via MyCovidRecord at www.mycovidrecord.health.nz/mask-exemptions
· Call 0800 11 12 13
· Text 8988 (for hearing impaired)
· Get assistance applying for or printing your pass at participating pharmacies or Vaccination Centres. To find one near you visit Healthpoint and search ‘Face Mask Exemption’, then chose your region from the menu on the left: https://www.healthpoint.co.nz/search?q=face+mask+exemption
· You can also call 0800 11 12 13 where they will let you know your closest participating pharmacy or Vaccination Centre.
The key difference between the new pass and the old cards are that the new passes will:
· Be individualised by having the person’s name printed on them;
· and be conclusive legal evidence that someone has an exemption.
Businesses who refuse to grant access to people with a valid pass on the basis that they are not wearing a face mask may be at risk of breaching the Human Rights Act on the basis of discrimination on the grounds of disability.
It is an offence if someone tries to use a card that belongs to someone else, helps someone else to use a pass that has been issued to them, forges a card, or makes a false declaration.