South Island moves to “Orange” – no community transmission of COVID-19

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Nov 29, 2021 |

The Prime Minister has announced the South Island will move to “Orange” Alert Level on Friday, despite there being no community transmission of COVID-19.

At orange, the Government Covid-19 website says “there will be community transmission, with pressure on our health system. The whole of health system is focussing its resources, but can manage primary care, public health, and hospitals. There may also be an increasing risk for at-risk people.”

Northland, Auckland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes Districts, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki Districts, Gisborne District, Wairoa District, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu Districts will move to Red.

The rest of the North Island will move in at Orange.

The whole of the South Island will move to Orange.

“On Friday the traffic lights are turned on for all of New Zealand, as we move forward safely into the next phase of our world-leading COVID-19 response,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

Schools will stay open at every colour and businesses can operate through My Vaccine Passes.

Other than the existing Auckland boundary, which lifts on January 17, there will be no new restrictions on travel between regions.

“Vaccinated New Zealanders using vaccine passes will be able to do many of the things that were previously treated as high risk like safely going to bars and restaurants, getting a haircut, and going to a concert or the gym. In Auckland, it means seeing friends and family indoors again.”

“Red is the highest level in the new system, which is why Auckland has moved to Red as the epicentre of the current outbreak, and we’ve taken strong account of vaccination rates and vulnerable populations in the other regions at Red.”

“We are not moving any regions to Green immediately while we continue to get vaccination rates up and transition the country to the new framework. To achieve this, $120 million continues to be distributed to support Māori communities to fast-track vaccination efforts and prepare for the traffic light system.”

Cabinet will review settings and provide an update on Monday 13 December. The next update by Ministers will be on Monday 17 January, and will continue on a fortnightly basis.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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