New Zealanders wanting to attend music festivals over the coming summer are going to have to prove they've been vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of entry, although there will be exemptions for those who medically cannot get the jab.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced at the 1pm media update on Tuesday that the Government is looking to mandate the use of vaccine certificates for large-scale events as Aotearoa eases safety restrictions.
When asked if everyone who wants to go to a summer festival would need a vaccination certificate, Ardern said: "Yes".
"This is us forewarning you that if you are booked to go to a summer festival that whilst we're continuing to work on the framework and some of the details, this is a warning to you, or a heads up: Go out and get vaccinated now because you will need that vaccination certificate to be a part of that large-scale event," she said.
"The best way to guarantee your entry into a summer festival is to be vaccinated."
The Government is still figuring out when the certificate will need to be used, with details to be announced in the coming weeks. It is also is considering a legal framework where organisers who would like to use the tool can do so.
Overseas, proving one has been vaccinated against COVID-19 or providing a negative test has been a condition of entry to concerts for some time. Live Nation, one of the largest live entertainment companies on the planet, is introducing a blanket rule for attendees to all its festivals and venues this month.
"To make these events safer, many countries have used something that is often referred to as a vaccine pass or a vaccine certificate. Simply put it's proof that you are fully vaccinated and therefore pose less risk to the people around you, and that an event you attend is less likely to become the source or the site of a large, super-spreader event," said Ardern.
"These are now common overseas and they make good sense... indicatively, we're likely to begin using them in November."
The Ministry of Health is piloting a new consumer app called My COVID Record set to be used to provide evidence of vaccination records.