This update (28 March) contains key information about the Government’s response to COVID-19

Key things to note:

  • Maintaining vigilance despite case numbers declining.
  • Reminder to get vaccinations for COVID-19, flu and routine immunisations (MMR) as winter approaches.
  • A coordinated regional approach to supporting Pacific communities in Auckland.
  • MIQ facilities update.

Maintain vigilance despite case numbers declining.

While overall COVID case numbers are starting to reduce, continued vigilance and caution is needed – especially for the protection of those at high risk. People are encouraged to keep up the mask-wearing and other good public health measures, stay home if feeling unwell, and take a test if they have symptoms

Vaccinations for COVID-19, flu and routine immunisations (MMR).

As New Zealand’s border reopens, and winter is approaching there is potential for significant pressure on the health system from COVID-19, flu, and other diseases such as RSV and measles. People are encouraged to get their COVID-19 vaccine or booster, get a flu vaccination, and make sure childhood immunisations such as MMR are up to date.

A coordinated regional approach to supporting Pacific communities in Auckland.

A range of support is available to hard-hit Pacific communities in the Auckland region. Pacific peoples have some of the highest hospitalisation rates in the Omicron outbreak due to the volume of cases in Pacific communities.

Pacific providers have been partnering with the Northern Region Health Coordination Centre since the start of the pandemic in 2020, as part of the Pacific Response to COVID-19.

This has included mobile units for testing and vaccinations, community-based assessment and testing centres, a regional outreach-based vaccination programme and the provision of health care and welfare support for families isolating at home through Whanau HQ and support for the regional Pacific Coordination hub.

MIQ facilities update

  • The MIQ voucher booking system is currently being decommissioned. As fewer people now need to come into MIQ, the voucher booking system isn’t needed anymore. Most travellers entering New Zealand will be able to self-test on arrival.
  • MIQ will only be used in limited circumstances, for example, for some maritime and international air crew. In those circumstances, the voucher booking system will no longer be necessary.
  • Without vouchers, we also no longer need a system for emergency allocations of vouchers or time-sensitive travel allocations, so those systems are being decommissioned too.
  • From Friday 25 March 2022, MBIE will no longer accept any new emergency allocation or time-sensitive travel applications.