NZ to move into traffic light system on Dec 3
All of New Zealand will move into the new Covid-19 Protection Framework at 11.59pm on Thursday December 2, making Friday December 3 the first day the traffic light system will be operationalised.
“Cabinet has today provided New Zealanders certainty by confirming the whole country will move into the traffic light system on December 3 – 11 days from now,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.
“Setting the date now gives people, communities and businesses time to prepare to move safely and smoothly into the new traffic light system.
“Decisions on what colour each region will move into will be confirmed on November 29, giving regions time to drive up vaccination rates further.
“Auckland will enter at Red,” she says.
“The settings for other regions will be based on factors like vaccination levels, but Cabinet has already confirmed that no region will start at Green while we are transitioning and managing a current outbreak.
“Later this week, we will release detailed sector guidance so business and other organisations can see how they will operate at each setting of the traffic light.
“While life will feel relatively normal under the new system, which is simpler and safer than the alert levels, it’s time to get prepared to move.
“The number one thing New Zealanders can do is get vaccinated, because the key difference between the two systems is that vaccine passes will shortly be required at places like bars, gyms and restaurants. So download your Vaccine Pass now.”
Ardern says there will be a trial period for vaccine passes at hairdressers and barbers in Auckland from November 25, to ensure the transition into the new system goes as smoothly as possible the following week.
“Hairdressers have been chosen because by default the scale they operate at, with a limited number of customers at any given time, poses the least risk for the next stage of re-opening.
“Those businesses that participate in the trial must operate with vaccine passes, take bookings only, and all staff must be fully vaccinated.
“The hard truth is that Delta is here and not going away, but New Zealand is well set to tackle it because of our high vaccination rates and our latest safety measures including the traffic light system and Vaccine Pass.
“Our Covid management remains cautious to protect lives and livelihoods – this is the method that has served us so well.
“We’re fast approaching the next phase in our Covid response that delivers more freedoms and recognises the hard work Kiwis have done to get vaccinated.
“It’s based on the values that have served us so well and I hope it gives people the space and confidence to have the summer break they all deserve,” Ardern says.
This announcement comes after five new Covid-19 cases were reported in the Bay of Plenty today, of these cases, four are linked to existing cases in Mount Manganui.
Investigations are underway into any possible links between the remaining case and any known cases.
There are 205 new community cases around New Zealand today, including the five Bay of Plenty cases.
Of the remaining cases, 175 are in Auckland, 20 in the Waikato, four in Northland, and one in the Lakes region.
The Ministry of Health today is also reporting the death of a patient with Covid-19. He was man in his 40s at Middlemore Hospital.
A Ministry of Health spokesperson says it is critical that anyone with any cold or flu symptoms gets tested as quickly as possible – maintaining a high rate of testing in the Bay of Plenty will help to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Testing locations for the Bay of Plenty can be found on the Healthpoint website.
Three new Bay of Plenty locations have been added to the Ministry of Health’s location of interest website this afternoon.
This afternoon’s new locations of interest include the Welcome Bay Pharmacy, Pak 'n Save Papamoa and BP Connect Tokoroa.
Click here for a full list of locations of interest for the BOP.