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Thursday 20 January 2022

South Island to enter traffic light system at orange

29th November 2021 By Staff Reporter | | @foodtickernz

The South Island will move into the government’s traffic light Covid-19 Protection Framework at orange, when the country shifts to the new system at 11.59pm on Thursday 2 December.

Red light regions are Northland, Auckland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes Districts, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki Districts, Gisborne District, Wairoa District, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu Districts.

The rest of the North Island will enter the system at orange.

The government would review the settings on Monday 13 December, hold for a month, and then review again on 17 January.

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced the regional settings at her weekly post-cabinet press conference Monday afternoon.

“On Friday, the traffic lights are turned on for all of New Zealand, as we move forward safely into the next phase of our world-leading Covid-19 response,” Ardern said.

“We’ve prepared well for this moment by maintaining a cautious approach focused on protecting people and their jobs. Our next phase is focused on minimising the impact of Covid-19 and protecting people.

“We’ve vaccinated a significant portion of the team of five million, and now is the time to move to a new framework.”

She said using the government’s vaccine pass, wearing masks, and scanning everywhere allowed the shift to the traffic light system, which has been designed to avoid using lockdowns to control the virus.

Vaccination rates, the state of the health system, testing, contact tracing and case management capacity, as well as the rate and effect of Covid-19 transmission, were all factors in determining what setting each region entered the traffic light system.

Ardern added that New Zealand had come through the past two years of Covid “in better shape than nearly anywhere in the world, with the lowest case and death rates in the OECD, a growing economy, and among the highest rates of vaccination in the world”.

“The certainty and stability of the traffic lights replaces the sudden lockdowns and restrictions of Alert Levels. Our schools will stay open at every colour and businesses will have protection through My Vaccine Passes to keep operating,” she said.

“Other than the existing Auckland boundary, which lifts on January 17, there will be no new restrictions on travel between regions.”

About 85% of eligible New Zealanders were now fully vaccinated, with 92% having had their first dose.

Details of how the traffic light system will work is available here.



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