MPI Decision on "essential services"
In light of the government’s announcement that the country will move to COVID-19 alert level 4 at midnight tonight (25 March) only “essential services” are permitted to operate.
Our advice from the Ministry for Primary Industries confirms that training centres, training stables, agistment properties and stud farms where horses are in containment are businesses that may register as an essential service under animal welfare considerations.
Businesses with more than five people (including the owner) working at each business site, or who cannot achieve social distancing between staff, are required to register. The criteria and registration form can be found here.
The businesses will need to answer 11 questions to provide assurance they have a plan and process to manage infection risks. Much of this will be covered in the NZTR protocols which will be distributed later today.
In addition to this NZTR, the NZ Trainers’ Association and the NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association will be providing a template to assist with completing the paperwork in a further communication later today.
MPI has requested that all businesses which need to register do so by 5pm on Friday, 27 March 2020. Businesses will be able to continue operating while going through the registration process.