Critical services under the COVID-19 Close Contact Exemption Scheme

Today the government has announced the Close Contact Exemption Scheme. Oral health providers and their staff can access the Close Contact Exemption Scheme to ensure critical oral health services continue to function.

During Phases Two and Three of the Omicron response, workers at registered critical services who are vaccinated, and asymptomatic close contacts of a COVID-19 case will be able to continue to work, as long as they return a negative rapid antigen test prior to each day/shift they are at work during the isolation period, and follow specific health protocols. They will only be allowed to go to work – not anywhere else.

Oral health providers who are participating in the scheme will be able to collect free Rapid Antigen Test kits from a collection site. Refer to the guidance on the Ministry of Health website for the process for collecting and undertaking a Rapid Antigen Test, as part of the Close Contact Exemption Scheme.

How do I register as a Critical Service?

Businesses and organisations can self-assess if they meet the criteria for being critical. Please use the tool on the Close Contact Exemption Scheme registration portal and make a declaration by registering on the Close Contact Exemption Scheme Critical Services Register.