Covid 19 Omicron outbreak: Kiwis flock to supermarkets as red traffic light move announced

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Covid 19 Omicron outbreak: Kiwis flock to supermarkets as red traffic light move announced

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had not even finished her press conference announcing a move to the red traffic light setting before long queues at some Auckland supermarkets began.

Images of shoppers with trolleys full to the brim in New World in the Auckland suburb of New Lynn show Kiwis stocking up ahead of the country moving into red at 11.59pm tonight.

Covid 19 Omicron outbreak: Kiwis flock to supermarkets as red traffic light move announced

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Queues formed right around the shop at New World in Auckland's New Lynn. Photo / supplied

There was also a long queue at queue Auckland’s Westmere Butcher as the red light setting was announced.

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The move to red was announced by Ardern this morning after it was confirmed nine Covid cases in Motueka are infected with the Omicron variant.

Even before Kiwis knew for sure what Ardern would announce at her press conference, supermarkets were busy.

Shoppers packed into Countdown Kelston to stock up on groceries at 10:30am, with long queues at checkouts.

Covid 19 Omicron outbreak: Kiwis flock to supermarkets as red traffic light move announced

Queues had formed at checkouts at Auckland's Kelston Countdown even before the Prime Minister's press conference had begun. Photo / Supplied

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said there was no need to rush to the shops.

“There is absolutely no need to be out there panic buying…we are asking people to think about what stocks they need if you do get sick, but there is plenty of time for that,” Robertson said.

“It’s been tough for the last few years for people organising events, but we know they have been planning for this,” Robertson said.

Is this when NZ will have to learn to live with Covid?
We will have a mindshift, but we still need to protect the most vulnerable & we need to follow protocols to slow Omicron down.
Panic shopping has started. Te Awamutu Pak'n'Save's car park is at Christmas fullness. #Covid19

— Melanie D. Vaxxed (@melulater) January 22, 2022

Kiwis also took to social media to express their feelings about the sudden move to red.

Is it too early for gin?#LockdownHouseParty

— MarcoDescartes (@MarkGraham_Akl) January 22, 2022

Today we have 0 people with covid in ICU, an unbelievable achievement, we still have the lowest deaths in the world.

I believe if we all work together we can keep numbers as low as possible, despite omicron being far harder to control than delta, which was already a challenge. x

— Richard Hills (@RichardHills_) January 22, 2022

Hoping there is some sort of financial support for the events community – with the resurgence payment ceasing when we went into the traffic light, the people who make their income putting on shows have been really vulnerable and now it’s dire for many people I know.

— Josie Campbell (@josiecampbell) January 22, 2022

Knew I was jinxing things by booking reviews in for next month 😭 Feel for the arts/live events sector – hope some of the upcoming shows can still go ahead

— Ethan Sills (@EthanTSills) January 22, 2022

Red (Jacinda’s version)

— Alix Higby (@alixhigby) January 22, 2022

Deep breaths and strength Aotearoa, especially fellow immunocompromised whānau. I’m just in line for my booster vaxx and there are so many others, kids, elderly, all waiting calmly to get strong so we all come through this strong and together ✊🏾❤️

— Golriz Ghahraman (@golrizghahraman) January 22, 2022

I am not surprised at all, would have liked another week but this was coming and that is why you were told to prepare if you can

— Wendy Andresen (@WendyWings) January 22, 2022

Ardern said everyone should “plan to be in red for some weeks”.

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