Business Travel Register, COVID service – February to March 2021
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In September 2020, MBIE was asked to build a service that would allow businesses to apply for permission to travel across alert level boundaries in the event of a COVID resurgence in the country.
Due to the unpredictability of the situation, this service was required to be built rapidly.
Business Connect built a form to allow businesses to apply for their workers to travel across an alert level boundary. Once the worker had been issued their business travel document, Police could scan the document using a QR code.
In addition, an all-of-government administration portal was put in place, enabling 16 agencies to review, manage and process applications relating to their industry or sector.
The service was designed, developed and activated within two weeks and in response to escalating health events associated with COVID-19.
The service was activated on February 15, 2021 when Auckland moved to alert level 3. It was reactivated later that month during a second escalation to alert level 3 and was available within 30 minutes of the Prime Minister's announcement.
While it was active, the Business Travel Register service supported over 4,000 businesses. 30,000 workers were issued a permission document allowing them to carry out essential travel across alert level boundaries, maintaining business continuity and essential economic activity, nationwide.
This service went incredibly smoothly and received praise from small and large businesses, such as Countdown and Downer, as well as Ministers. The service demonstrated how Business Connect can be used to coordinate across government agencies.
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