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A Friday afternoon reminder that next Monday, January 17, marks a significant day in the government’s Covid response.
The next traffic light review will take place after the weekend, on the same day vaccinations open for those aged 5-11.
Here’s a recap of what to expect on Monday:
- Since December 30, the entire country (except Northland) has been in the orange setting of the traffic light system. That includes Auckland, the epicentre of the delta outbreak and the arrival point for most international travellers, and the South Island, which has had very limited exposure to Covid-19 across the pandemic.
- On Monday, the existing settings will be reviewed and it’s possible that a move to the green setting (the closest we can get to “normal” life) could be implemented for parts of the country. The South Island has been calling for a shift to green since the framework was first introduced. It’s possible vaccination rates in Northland could see the region move out of the red.
- However, the rise of omicron at the border could mean restrictions on gatherings are still required, especially in areas with international airports or MIQ facilities. Under orange, large events where vaccine passes are not used can only be attended by 50 people.
- Also on Monday: Auckland’s border will officially drop, meaning police spot checks for travellers leaving the city will no longer occur (unless you’re, like, speeding or something).
- Booster bookings will also be opened up to anyone who has been fully vaccinated for at least four months (you can already book in over the phone or simply walk in to a clinic or pharmacy, but online bookings are only accessible for those who have waited at least six months since their second Pfizer dose).