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Critical Worker Status A Win For Vets And Their Patients

The New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) has welcomed yesterday’s announcement that vets and other animal welfare professionals are now included in the Government’s critical worker category.

The decision allows people in animal welfare roles to register as a critical worker, meaning they can continue working if they are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, provided they return daily negative Rapid Antigen Tests. Critical workers will still need to isolate outside of work.

NZVA Chief Executive Kevin Bryant says the decision gives already stretched veterinary teams more certainty about their availability to treat animals as the Omicron outbreak continues.

“We are very pleased with yesterday’s news. It puts vets in a much stronger position to reduce any disruption that Omicron may have on their services,” he says.

“Veterinary teams have been working exceptionally hard to meet their clients’ needs during the current vet shortage. They now have the mechanism in place that will help to keep essential services operating when Omicron becomes widespread.” 

Under the rules, animal welfare professionals can now register with the Government that they are a critical worker. Bryant is encouraging veterinary practices to register their entire teams, which will allow veterinary nurses, technicians and other essential workers in their clinics to be included in the scheme.

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