Frequently Asked Questions

Updated 3 March 2022

   

New Zealand moved to the Orange setting at 11:59pm, Wednesday 13 April.

  • You should still wear a mask on public transport (buses and ferries) and in bus hubs.
  • You no longer need to scan in on buses or at the our customer experience points. 
  • You no longer need to show your Vaccine Pass at our ORC customer experience points. 

Mask wearing

    • From Thursday 3 February 2022, customers aged 8 years or over or are a student in year 4 or above are required to wear a face covering (check FAQs for exemptions).    
    • From Friday 4 February onwards, scarves, bandanas and t-shirts can't be used as face coverings - you'll need to mask up with something that was made to be a face covering (check FAQs for exemptions).

Vaccine passes

    • You DO NOT need to show a Vaccine Pass to use public transport, including the Total Mobility scheme
  • You DO NOT need to show a Vaccine Pass to use public transport, including the Total Mobility scheme.

Face coverings are mandatory across all the different alert colours under the Traffic Light System (COVID-19 Protection Framework). 

 

  • You must wear a mask on public transport and at arrival and departure points, for example the Bus Hubs in Dunedin and Frankton and bus stops.
  • Customers aged 8 years or over or are a student in year 4 or above are required to wear a face covering (exemptions below).    
  • From Friday 4 February onwards, scarves, bandanas and t-shirts can't be used as face coverings - you'll need to mask up with something that was made to be a face covering. 

Who does not need to wear a face covering

Face masks do not need to be worn:

  • by children under 12**, except in a school setting at Red for Years 4 and up
  • on a boat or ship that has no enclosed space for passengers, for example jet boat tours
  • on charter or group tours
  • on private flights
  • by drivers, pilots, staff or crew of the service if they are in a space completely separated from passengers, for example pilot in a cockpit, train driver in a train cab, or a captain on a ferry.

 

You also do not need to wear face mask if:

  • it is unsafe, for example if wearing one means a driver cannot safely operate the vehicle
  • there is an emergency
  • you have a physical or mental health illness or condition or disability that makes wearing a face mask unsuitable
  • you need to prove your identity
  • you need to communicate with someone who is deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind or has a disability which makes it hard to have effective communication
  • you need to take medicine
  • you need to eat or drink, if eating or drinking is usually allowed
  • it is not required by law. 

 

Can I wear a buff or scarf?

From 11.59pm Thursday 3 February 2022 onwards, a face covering will need to be an actual mask and attached to the head by loops around the ears or head. This means scarves, bandannas, or t-shirts should not be used.

 

**From 11.59pm Thursday 3 February 2022 onwards, all primary and secondary school students Year 4 and up will need to wear a face mask on public transport and Ministry of Education funded school transport services.

Please refer to the official NZ COVID-19 page for more information.

Drivers, staff, and passengers on public transport services are required to wear face coverings, however there are some exemptions, for example for medical reasons or if it is unsafe, for example if wearing one means a driver cannot safely operate the vehicle. 

Here is a link to exemptions. 

Under the COVID-19 Protection Framework (traffic lights system), public transport is available at all the different alert colours (Green, Orange, Red).

Orbus will maintain the normal timetable and services with no service changes, however there may be disruptions to services due to driver illness and isolation related to COVID. 

Drivers and transport operators will not stop people without face coverings from boarding public transport. This is because some people will have legitimate reasons for not wearing a face covering.  

However, where possible, drivers will be encouraging passengers to wear a face covering.

According to government guidelines:

Transport operators are not expected, or required, to enforce passenger compliance with the Order or Ministry of Health guidelines; but may provide advice to passengers for travelling safely for example by displaying public information posters.

It is the passenger's responsibility to wear a face covering. 

This is to help our drivers feel more comfortable in the current Covid environment. While physical distancing is not required on board, limiting the amount of time a driver spends in direct contact with passengers is preferred. As drivers are exposed to different people all day, keeping them (and passengers) comfortable and safe is one of our biggest priorities.

The tag on tag off bus card enables passengers to move swiftly on to the bus, tagging on the reader and reducing interactions with drivers and other passengers. 

If you register your card you can also top up online, again reducing interactions with drivers or customer services representatives at your usual top up location.  

For all Otago Bee Card questions, click here to access the FAQs. 

You can find information about Total Mobility under the COVID traffic light system over HERE on the Total Mobility page.

ORC’s customer service opening hours at Philip Laing House in Dunedin and in Queenstown are 8am-1pm and 2pm-4:30pm, Monday to Friday.

All enquiries can still be made via phone (0800 474 082) or through our contact us page: www.orc.govt.nz/contact-us.

The 0800 ORBUS phone numbers continue to operate as normal (24/7).

In Dunedin call 0800 ORBUSDN (0800 672 8736)

In Queenstown call 0800 ORBUSQT (0800 672 8778)

Keep up to date with information on our Facebook pages, OrbusQT and OrbusDN

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