Jacinda Ardern warns service workers they could be sacked if they don't get jabbed in a month 4 weeks ago

Jacinda Ardern warns service workers they could be sacked if they don't get jabbed in a month

Jabs will be mandatory for employees who have close contact with customers.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has warned workers that they could be sacked if they don't get vaccinated within the next month.

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On Wednesday, the country's government said that it would be expanding a vaccine mandate to include thousands of workers who come into close contact with their customers. This means people working in restaurants, bars, gyms and hair salons will now have to get jabbed in order to continue working in their jobs.

After the changes, around 40 percent of all workers in New Zealand will have to be vaccinated or risk losing their jobs. According to the Telegraph, this number previously sat at 15 percent.

The PM told reporters that she did not believe the changes were a step too far and an overreach of government power.

Ardern said: "This requirement means staff and customers are treated equally and it will play a big part in helping to minimize the spread of the virus in the highest-risk venues by reducing the potential for Covid to enter the business in the first place."

Before this announcement, workers that had to be jobbed to keep their jobs included teachers and those working in healthcare.

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The New Zealand government has set a target of getting 90 percent of people aged 12 and over fully vaccinated, in order to bring an end to the requirement for lockdowns.

New Zealand has had some of the the strictest lockdown measures in the world. In September the country went into a lockdown after just one community-transmitted case of Covid was discovered.

And Auckland, the largest city in the country, has been in lockdown for more than two months after an outbreak of the Delta variant.

Vaccine passports are also being implemented for people visiting high traffic businesses.

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But the opposition National Party have said there will be no need for restrictions such as vaccine passports once vaccine targets are met.

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