Covid-19 Delta: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reveals NZ moves to new traffic light settings on Friday

Covid-19 Delta: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reveals NZ moves to new traffic light settings on Friday

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has revealed the country will shift into the new traffic light system on Friday.

Ardern says the long-awaited traffic light decision follows a successful domestic pandemic response.

She said recent months were perhaps the toughest New Zealand had experienced in the whole pandemic.

“The past three months have been hard though.”

The new traffic light system would give greater certainty to business.

It was not a case of abandoning strict measures to combat Covid-19, but would build on past experience.

The announcement comes as the Delta outbreak continues to spread slowly but steadily across the country, with 182 new cases today. There are now 93 people in hospital – up 11 from yesterday – and 10 in ICU.

Cabinet met today to confirm if the country will move to the new Covid protection traffic light system from 11.59pm Thursday, as signalled by Ardern a week ago.

Ardern held a press conference, alongside Deputy PM Grant Robertson and director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield, to reveal the decision.

Ardern addressed the Omicron variant. She said New Zealand did not have the new variant but it was a reminder why strong, ongoing pandemic responses were needed.

Some countries have had to stand up borders or reopen quarantine facilities.

“We are not powerless tough,” she said.

Omicron had not changed advice on boosters.

“We’re especially keen to see our border and health workers receiving this additional protection.”

Ardern has already stated no regions will be moving into the green setting, and Auckland, still the centre of the outbreak, will go straight to red.

The Government’s decision comes as a new variant of Covid-19 gets closer to our doorstep – after confirmation that the potentially more infectious Omicron strain of the virus has reached Australia overnight.

Ardern told Three’s AM Show this morning that it was too early to say what changes officials here may need to make in response to Omicron – particularly as New Zealand gets set to open its borders to Kiwi citizens and residents in Australia in mid-January.

Officials could respond “very quickly” at the border if need be, she said, and she acknowledged that travellers were still required to go through the managed isolation and quarantine system on arrival.

She said the Government needs more information before saying whether the move to allow travellers from Australia to skip MIQ and isolate at home from mid-January would change.

“We need to be prepared for it either to be possibly more severe, possibly more mild. We just don’t know yet.”

She said they would not be cancelling Christmas and had no reason to do that.

In the next few months, they had 20 people due to return from the high-risk region, but Ardern was not sure if they fit the new category to return now.

All cases were treated with absolute caution and anyone who was positive would go into the quarantine facilities.

Under all traffic light settings, events, restaurants, bars, gyms and hairdressers are expected to be able to remain open.

That is, provided they use a vaccine pass to ensure only vaccinated people are using their services.

Only under the red setting do events and gyms become limited as they have to restrict the number of people in attendance to 100 or fewer, while hairdressers also have to maintain stricter public health measures.

For those not using vaccine passes close-proximity businesses – such as hairdressers – are not able to operate. In gatherings allowed numbers are limited 25.

Earlier the Ministry of Health reported new cases were in Northland, Auckland and Waikato.

There was also a new case in the Nelson-Marlborough region, however that would be added into tomorrow’s cases as it was confirmed after today’s 9am deadline.

There are 167 cases in Auckland, 10 in Waikato and five cases in Northland.

There are 93 people in hospitals including 10 in ICU or HDU. Of the 93 cases in hospitals, an increase of 11 on yesterday, 17 are in North Shore, 33 in Middlemore, 37 in Auckland, four in Waikato and one in Rotorua.

Covid-19 Delta: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reveals NZ moves to new traffic light settings on Friday

News Related


Michigan school shooter Ethan Crumbley to pursue insanity defence

A teenager charged with killing four students at Michigan high school will pursue an insanity defence, his lawyers said, as he, his parents and school officials faced a new lawsuit ... Read more »

Covid 19 Omicron outbreak: One-day Coast to Coast event going ahead

The Long Day category in the Kathmandu Coast to Coast will go ahead in spite of Covid-19 restrictions. Two-hundred-and-eighty-four competitors will now line up for the Longest Day and One ... Read more »

Focus Morning Bulletin: 28 Jan, 2022

How Omicron could stamp out Delta, music industry sings out for support and inflation still on the rise in the latest New Zealand Herald headlines. Video / NZ Herald Read more »

Orange Sky gives mana back to Hamilton's homeless with free laundry and showers

Non-profit charity organisation Orange Sky is on a mission to make free mobile shower and laundry services available to the homeless throughout New Zealand, including the Waikato. Founded in Australia ... Read more »

Olympics: Marcell Jacobs breaks silence on controversial Tokyo triumph

Marcell Jacobs, Italy’s shock 100m Olympic champion, has insisted that he has never taken performance-enhancing drugs and that his remarkable success last summer was down simply to “extreme hard work”. ... Read more »

Chilling video shows US man trying to lure a teen girl back to his farm

A teenage woman has shared the chilling moment a man approached her while she browsed through clothes and attempted to lure her back to his farm on the promise of ... Read more »

The Dating Diaries: Here's why I'll never use dating apps

OPINION: On my list of ways to find love, dating apps sit at the very bottom. Call me unrealistic, delusional, old fashioned or if you’re feeling kind, a hopeless romantic. ... Read more »

Covid-19 Omicron outbreak: All the events cancelled across NZ

Countless events have been cancelled amid the country’s move to the red traffic light setting. After Sunday’s announcement put the entire country back into red to combat Omicron, event organisers ... Read more »

Political poll: National's Chris Luxon big winner, Jacinda Ardern's Labour slide - 1 News-Kantar poll

Chris Luxon and National are up in the first 1 News-Kantar poll of his leadership, rising four points to 32 per cent – but he is unlikely to be celebrating ... Read more »

Gambling addict Michael Whelan ripped off ailing old father

For four years a Dunedin man known for his charity work secretly fleeced his ailing father of nearly $150,000, a court has heard. The 91-year-old died in 2019 never knowing ... Read more »

Tennis: Ash Barty breaks 42-year drought to secure place in Australian Open final

Ash Barty was the crowd favourite at Melbourne Park long before she ended a 42-year drought by reaching the Australian Open final. Danielle Collins said it’ll be “spectacular” to take ... Read more »

Jana Hocking: What it's really like to date someone with bipolar disorder

OPINION: In my mid-20s I started dating a guy who made me weak at the knees. He was outgoing, ridiculously confident and enjoyed nothing more than being silly. That is ... Read more »

'Wee angel': Baby's death investigated as family grieves

An Invercargill infant who died this week after an incident at her home on Friday was just starting to giggle after being born two months early, her grandmother says. Five-month-old ... Read more »

Covid-19 Omicron outbreak: Fears SoundSplash festival could be 'big superspreader event'

By Ella Stewart for RNZ A teenager who tested positive for Covid-19 after attending the SoundSplash festival says with all the physical contact revellers had at the three-day festival, it ... Read more »

Olympics: Tokyo gold medallist canoe sprinter Caitlin Regal announces retirement

Olympic gold medal-winning canoe sprinter Caitlin Regal has announced she will be hanging up her paddle and moving into the next phase of life. Regal, 29, claimed gold in the ... Read more »

Covid 19 Omicron outbreak: Six cases in Tauranga, gym and KFC locations of interest

Six Covid-19 cases in Tauranga have now been linked to the Omicron outbreak, with two confirmed to have the variant. A KFC restaurant and a gym in the city have ... Read more »

Formula One: Hamilton- Verstappen saga according to Jacques Villeneuve

Don Kennedy on Formula One. An investigation into the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP by the FIA, continues, with the finger still being pointed at Race Director Michael Masi whose late ... Read more »

Travel inspiration: Where Robyn Malcolm loves to holiday in NZ

The much-loved Kiwi star reveals her favourite NZ holiday destinations What are your favourite memories from childhood family holidays in NZ? Every year we travelled in the big white family ... Read more »

Littlebourne Farm's 33rd wapiti sire sale a success

Serene wapiti stags attracted buyers to a sale in Central Southland. Littlebourne Farm owner Geoff Pullar said he was “pretty happy” with the 33rd annual on-farm wapiti sire sale in ... Read more »

Photographer captures images of Mt Ruapehu every day for a year

A photographer who spent every morning of 2021 in the presence of Mt Ruapehu said it was a truly breathtaking experience. Every single day last year, Craig Andrew Madsen, of ... Read more »

New Zealand business finalists named for 2021 Deloitte Top 200 Awards

After a second successive year of Covid-19 disruption and uncertainty, the finalists for the 2021 Deloitte Top 200 Awards have truly earned their spot among the best in New Zealand ... Read more »

Herald morning quiz: January 28

Test your brains with the Herald’s morning quiz. Be sure to check back on for the afternoon quiz. To challenge yourself with more quizzes, CLICK HERE. Read more »

Whangārei's City Cricket Club to celebrate 75th Jubilee in style

The greatest team ever, the best side over the last 25 years and some of the epic games played will all be revealed at the City Cricket Club’s 75th jubilee ... Read more »

Gwen Lawson's bowls column: Whangārei foursome finished runners-up in prestigious Taranaki comp

The week started off with good news when the Whangārei composite team of Dusty Reader, Paul Wightman, Steve Smith and George Lyddiard reached the final of the ever-popular Taranaki Men’s ... Read more »

Virtual Waitangi Day to air on TV3, iwi radio as live commemorations cancelled

A virtual version of Waitangi Day commemorations at the Treaty Grounds will be broadcast on TV3 and the iwi radio network in place of the real thing. Two events and ... Read more »

Last chance for Whanganui cricket clubs to win a Coastal Challenge title for the year

Wanganui Vet Services Marist and Property Brokers United have their last chance to end the season’s monopoly by the Horowhenua-Kapiti clubs of Coastal Challenge Cup titles, as the original 50-over ... Read more »

Cooks Gardens in Whanganui is honoured worldwide despite Covid-19 pandemic resurgence

Cooks Gardens is very much the “Home of the Mile” and the honour bestowed on this venue comes as exciting news on the 60th anniversary of Sir Peter Snell’s world ... Read more »

Top prices paid at Whanganui dog trials fundraiser

A sheepdog sold for more than $10,000 at a fundraising auction just outside of Whanganui last weekend could be the top price paid in New Zealand, one observer says. Kimbolton ... Read more »

Covid 19 Omicron outbreak: New strain surpasses Delta in daily cases; Auckland Grammar acts over Soundsplash cases, contacts

Omicron has surpassed Delta as the dominant Covid-19 strain in new daily cases, amid wildly varied modelling about the scale of a looming outbreak. Yesterday, 34 new Omicron cases were ... Read more »

Kyrgyz: the Switzerland of Central Asia

Kyrgyz Millisphere: a discrete region inhabited by roughly one-thousandth of the world population. Sometimes a country has exactly the right population to qualify as a millisphere. Kyrgyzstan (6.5 million), known ... Read more »

Racing: Stephen Marsh feels not so bogged down after shock scratching of Waisake in Wellington Cup

Stephen Marsh feels he has a chance at winning the Wellington Cup at Trentham tomorrow. While the Cambridge trainer didn’t win anything when hot favourite Waisake pulled out of the ... Read more »

Racing: $220,000 Thorndon Mile a nightmare puzzle for punters

A lack of tempo threatens to turn the mile race of the season into a nightmare puzzle for punters at Trentham tomorrow. The $220,000 Thorndon Mile is the highlight of ... Read more »

Covid 19 Omicron outbreak: New Zealand has become a 'hermit kingdom', David Seymour writes in Daily Mail column

Act leader David Seymour says that, while the world is opening up, New Zealand is becoming a “hermit kingdom”. Writing a column for the Daily Mail, Seymour described a photograph ... Read more »

Covid 19 outbreak: Education officials warn mask exemptions being 'abused' by parents

The mask exemption process is being flouted by parents who do not want their child wearing a mask, according to the Ministry of Health. Students in Years 4 and up ... Read more »

Covid 19 Omicron outbreak: New Zealand turning into 'hermit kingdom', David Seymour writes in Daily Mail column

Act leader David Seymour says that, while the world is opening up, New Zealand is becoming a “hermit kingdom”. Writing a column for the Daily Mail, Seymour described a photograph ... Read more »

Shallow 6.2 quake rocks Tonga, Fiji region

Tonga and the surrounding Pacific region has been rocked by a magnitude 6.2 earthquake this evening. The United States Geological Survey says the quake was just 14km deep, and its ... Read more »

Australian Open 2022: Nick Kyrgios responds after being slammed by Kiwi player Michael Venus

Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios has returned serve in a subtle but clear manner after being labelled an “absolute knob” by Kiwi counterpart Michael Venus. Venus and German playing partner ... Read more »

Covid 19 outbreak: Health officials 'aware' of person getting multiple booster shots

Health officials are “aware” of an incident where a person assumed a number of identities to receive multiple booster shots. It’s understood a person in Auckland received multiple doses of ... Read more »

'Diabolical' prices: Inflation leaves working professionals out of pocket

By Hamish Cardwell of RNZ The new record inflation figures come as no shock to many, with rising housing, fuel and construction costs putting the pinch on even those with ... Read more »

Covid 19 outbreak: Health officials 'aware' of incident where person received multiple booster shots

Health officials are “aware” of an incident where a person assumed a number of identities to receive multiple booster shots. It’s understood a person in Auckland received multiple doses of ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic