- 24 January 2022
New Zealand Service Announcement | COVID Variant OmicronAt 11.59pm, Sunday 23rd January, the New Zealand Government moved the country into the RED traffic light setting as the emergence of the Covid variant Omicron was confirmed in the community.
As advised by Government, and widely reported by media, Omicron is more infectious than earlier variants of Covid. Overseas observations provide insight that we can expect much higher rates of infection to emerge, with significant levels of absenteeism due to isolation requirements.
In preparation for this eventuality Mainfreight has taken the following steps to reduce the incidence of absenteeism and any flow-on impact on services.
- All Mainfreight team members including drivers are vaccinated, with many now eligible and encouraged to have the 3rd booster as soon as possible.
- All sites nationally are only accessible to fully vaccinated visitors.
- Branches are equipped with Rapid Antigen Testing kits to assist early detection, with more kits on order should the duration of Omicron become extended.
- Multiple sites in our larger centres will provide Mainfreight with options to retain levels of service should a single site be disrupted by Covid.
- Administration roles will alternate between home and work, with operational team moved into split shifts where practicable.
- Drivers will ensure strict safety protocols are maintained including contactless delivery and mask wearing. For residential deliveries we have reverted to outside the door delivery only, meaning no inside placement is allowed.
Should absenteeism impede services beyond our control (including key service providers or customer groups), we will provide further guidance as required.
We recommend customers should also provide guidance to their customers regarding the looming threat of Omicron, and equally prepare now for extended transit times and/or picking delays in our warehouses.