COVID-19 Information for retirement villages

For general information on COVID-19, visit the government’s central website.

This page provides information for older people who live in a retirement village, their family and whānau, carers, and operators of retirement villages. This page also guides residents and operators to additional sources of information. 

  • Where to find information for older people to stay safe
  • Can people move into and out of retirement villages?
  • Can village residents socialise and use the on-site facilities at retirement villages?

Information for operators and statutory supervisors

  • Can retirement villages have meetings during COVID Levels 2-4?
  • Is there any regulatory relief for operators impacted by COVID-19?

General information

Where to find information for older people to stay safe

The covid19.govt.nz website sets out information for individuals and households to look after their health and wellbeing during COVID-19. It includes guidelines for at-risk people, including people who are aged 70 and over and/or have certain health conditions, which may put them at risk of severe illness should they contract COVID-19. These guidelines can be found on the COVID-19.govt.nz website for At-risk People.

The Ministry of Health has also developed specific advice related to COVID-19 for older people and their families and whānau. This advice can be found on the Ministry of Health website for Older people and their families and whanau.

 

 

Can people move into and out of retirement villages?

Under Alert Level 3 and 2, residents can move into, or out of, the village.

Removal companies are able to assist residents and families with the move, with some conditions. Movers will have to comply with physical distancing, personal hygiene and surface cleaning rules and should keep records for contact tracing.

Friends and family can also help with the move. If they are well known to the resident, physical distancing procedures are not required. However, we recommend that personal hygiene and surface cleaning is still followed along with recording names and contact details of those who helped with the move for contact tracing purposes.

It is possible to buy and sell retirement village units under Alert Levels 2 and 3. The Real Estate Authority has developed protocols, with input from the Real Institute of New Zealand and others, to ensure real estate business can go ahead in a way that is consistent with public health requirements. The guidance for different levels can be found on the Real Estate Authority website. 

Can village residents socialise and use the on-site facilities at retirement villages?

Under Alert Level 2, residents will be able to socialise with friends, family, and other residents at the villages. This means that residents at retirement villages will be able to participate in more activities at their village and make use of the on-site facilities. When socialising, you should follow public health guidelines on physical distancing and personal hygiene. It is also recommended that you keep a record of where you have been and who you have met if contact tracing is needed.

Note it is recommended that people at high risk of severe illness, i.e. those over 70 and those with underlying health conditions, stay home where possible and to take additional precautions when leaving home. You should not be leaving home or socialising if you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, awaiting a test, or if you are required to self-isolate.

Retirement villages will be able to resume activities such as meetings and social occasions as long as the conditions of gatherings are met.

Residents will be able to participate in sports and recreational activities under Alert Level 2 as long as conditions on gatherings are met. This means that residents of retirement villages will be able to use the on-site community facilities at their retirement villages with appropriate measures in place. These measures include following physical distancing rules, contact tracing and keeping surfaces clean. WorkSafe is developing guidance on safety measures that should be followed for public spaces such as cafes, pools and gyms under Alert Level 2.  

Information for operators and statutory supervisors

Can retirement villages have meetings during COVID Levels 2-4?

The Retirement Villages Code of Practice 2008 requires operators to hold certain meetings.

In April 2020, the Registrar of Retirement Villages and the Retirement Commissioner issued a Retirement Villages Practice Note setting out best practice for meetings with residents during the COVID Level 2 – 4 period. All operators and statutory supervisors are strongly encouraged to follow this Practice Note during the COVID Level 2 - 4 Period. 

You can read the Practice Note on the Companies Office website.  

Is there any regulatory relief for operators impacted by COVID-19?

Some retirement villages may not be able to meet their statutory obligation to file annual returns by their allocated due date. The Registrar of Retirement Villages has issued guidance for operators that find themselves in this position to provide regulatory relief. 

Find more information on regulatory relief on the Companies Office website.

Published: May 18, 2020

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