Coronavirus: New Zealand to remain at the orange traffic light setting

Publish Date
Tuesday, 24 May 2022, 11:35AM

Pandemic Response Minister Chris Hipkins has announced that the whole of New Zealand will remain at the orange traffic light setting until at least late June.

The country - which has been at orange since 11.59pm on April 13 - will remain at the traffic light setting as a "second wave" of Omicron infections is expected over winter.

Hipkins said the orange setting remained appropriate for managing the Covid outbreak, as well as the arrival of new strains of cold and flus.

"While daily cases numbers have flattened nationally, they are again beginning to increase in the Northern region and hospitalisation rates have also increased slightly over the past month.

"In addition, our latest COVID-19 modelling indicates that under current conditions, there is a likelihood of a secondary wave of cases appearing," said Hipkins.

The next review of the settings will be in late June.

Orange means no indoor or outdoor capacity limits and seated rules removed, Hipkins said. The seven-day isolation requirement for positive cases remained.

Masks are still required at some gatherings, events and close-proximity businesses such as hairdressers and retail stores. People are encouraged to wear a mask when out and about.

Masks are also no longer required in schools, though they are again still encouraged.