“I say, ‘for now,’ as I will still provide the same disclaimer that every country realistically must — should there be a variant that demands it or a change in circumstances, we may need them again.”
The Prime Minister has announced changes to New Zealand’s Covid restrictions – lifting all gathering restrictions on outdoor settings, scrapping vaccine passes and removing vaccine mandates for some workforces.
Gathering limit changes will come into effect on March 25 at 11.59pm, which also included raising indoor limits from 100 to 200 under Red.
It will also mean all vaccine mandates will be removed for workforces, except for health and disability, aged care, Corrections and border workforces.
Ardern made the announcement from Parliament on Wednesday, to lay out the “next set of changes to our Covid settings in New Zealand”.
“While we have been successful, it has also been bloody hard,” Ardern said, looking back at the last two years.
“Everyone has been safer, but everyone is also tired.”
“Now with more tools and one of the most highly vaccinated nations in the world it means we can keep moving forward.”
She said due to the potential of future Covid-19 spikes and a possible daily case average in the thousands, Ardern said the traffic light system would be kept to “help us manage in the future” and to help keep people at risk safe.
The traffic light setting ‘Red’ will next be reviewed on April 4. Ardern said there was an expectation New Zealand could move to Orange in the near future, but while hospitalisation are at the current rate, New Zealand would be in Red.
Ardern announced that from 11.59pm April 4, “vaccine passes will no longer be required as part of the Covid-19 protection framework”.
She said this means: “Kiwis will no longer have to be vaccinated in order to enter those venues covered by the pass. Scanning in requirements for the vaccinated will also end.”
“We recognise that some businesses, events or venues may still choose to use vaccine passes, so we will maintain the infrastructure for them,” Ardern said.
Ardern said people will no longer be required to scan in from this weekend “and businesses are no longer required to provide the mechanisms to do so”.
Vaccine mandates will be lifted for education, police and defence workforces and businesses operating vaccine passes, from 11.59pm, Monday April 4.
“Like many other countries we are retaining a small number of mandates targeted at keeping our Covid-19 frontline staff safe and to ensure our most vulnerable, like those in aged care facilities or those with disabilities, are protected from the virus,” Ardern said…. Read More