Coronavirus: Updated vaccine passes coming with new look, requirements

Updated COVID-19 vaccine passes will be available to those Kiwis who want one from later this month.

There's no longer a legal requirement for vaccine passes to be used in New Zealand, but some businesses have kept them as a condition of entry to make patrons and customers feel safe.

The current passes expire six months after being issued or in June, meaning many will be coming up to their end dates.

From May 24, an updated version of the My Vaccine Pass will be available for download, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said on Friday. 

The updated passes will be available for anyone aged 12 and over and who is up-to-date with their vaccinations for their age group and the type of vaccine they have. This includes boosters for those over 18. Previously, boosters, which were rolled out after passes were introduced, weren't required to receive a pass.

They are said to have a slightly different look with a refreshed design. The QR code remains.

Hipkins said people are encouraged to have their pass with them in case it is needed. 

The new passes will have an expiry date six months from their issue. They can be requested at any time as long as the receiver is up-to-date with their jabs. 

"I encourage everyone to stay up-to-date with their vaccinations and download their updated pass as it's an important record of their vaccination status," he said. 

"We've learnt over the last couple of years there are no certainties with COVID-19 and with new variants circling the globe, it's best we're prepared for every eventuality."

From May 31, people are not up-to-date with their vaccinations because they have had COVID-19 over the last three months will still be able to request a pass. They will only be provided through the My Vaccine Record website if the person has reported a positive RAT result at the time they were infected.