Coronavirus: Kiwis need to police vaccine requirements at private gatherings or face a fine, Health Minister Andrew Little warns

Health Minister Andrew Little is warning Kiwis they will be responsible for policing vaccine requirements at their gatherings and if they don't they could face a fine. 

It comes ahead of the move into the new COVID Protection Framework on Friday. 

Northland, Auckland, Taupō and Rotorua, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki, Gisborne, Wairoa, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu will move into red, while the rest of the North Island will start at orange. The entire South Island will move into orange. 

Under the new system vaccine passes are required to access a myriad of services including hospitality, retail, gatherings and events. Businesses are expected to check COVID passes or could face an infringement fee. 

The same rules apply to private gatherings. A gathering in the red setting which chooses to use vaccine passes can have up to 100 people in a private dwelling or home. 

Without a vaccine pass, up to 25 people can meet in a private dwelling or home. 

In orange with a vaccine requirement there is no limit to how many people can gather. Without a vaccine pass up to 50 people can gather in a home or private dwelling. 

On Tuesday, Little said people choosing to host gatherings where the number of guests means vaccine passes are required will need to police that themselves.

"If these are people you know, they are family members, close friends, you trust them… that is going to be acceptable if they are regular contacts of yours and you know them then that's fine. Anybody else then you should be verifying with the vaccine pass app," he told The AM Show. 

When asked what happens if people don't scan strangers into their homes, he warned they could face a fine. 

"If there is an outbreak and it's traced back to your party and the question is asked about you then you could be liable for an infringement if you haven't enforced that rule."

Little said the fee wouldn't be as high as the one for hospitality venues which is $15,000. He didn't clarify what the fine would be but currently, COVID rule breakers can face fines of up to NZ$12,000. 

"You want everybody who is turning up to your home or who you're providing hospitality to be safe," Little said.