New Zealand moves to the 'red' alert level of COVID restrictions from midnight, Sunday January 23rd. Under red restrictions, businesses and schools will remain open and domestic travel can continue, but mask-wearing is mandated and vaccine passes are required for entry to most non-essential businesses.

Public and private gatherings are permitted, but the number of people allowed will depend on whether 'my vaccine pass' is being used. You can find out more here.

About the traffic lights framework

The COVID-19 Protection Framework (traffic lights) is central to New Zealand's new minimise and protect strategy. The following information explains the new approach.

The framework will continue to protect New Zealanders, while also providing more certainty and new opportunities. It minimises the impact of COVID-19 through 3 settings — Red, Orange and Green.

Minimisation means we are aiming to keep the spread of COVID-19 and hospitilisations at as low a level as possible. Outbreaks will be contained and controlled, and if practical, stamped out. There will likely be some level of cases in the community on an ongoing basis.

Protection means that we will protect people from the virus, with vaccination, infection prevention and control and general public health measures — for example, contact tracing, case management and testing — and a response that focuses on minimising its significant health impacts through treatment and support. We will also protect people’s health, by ensuring we are not letting cases go to the point where the impacts have flow-on effects to impact other health services.

The hard truth is that COVID-19 will spread around New Zealand, and we need to be prepared. The framework is our best tool to do this. It is intended to give as much certainty and stability as possible for people and businesses, reducing the need for widespread lockdowns.

Helpful information:

Stay updated here.

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