COVID Protection Framework update

23.03.22 07:54 PM By WasteMINZ
Changes to traffic light system announced. 

At 11.45pm on Friday 25 March, COVID-19 Protection Framework is changing. 

New Zealand’s successful management of the Omicron outbreak and high rates of vaccination mean it’s now safe to ease the restrictions that have successfully prevented widespread health. The focus now is to make life simpler and closer to normal but retain the things that are most effective at reducing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting people.  

From 11:59pm on Friday 25 March the  COVID-19 Protection Framework will be simpler. It will help us manage life with Omicron while reducing the impact of future outbreaks. The traffic light changes are:

At Red 
  • There will be no limits for outdoor activities, such as gatherings and events, and food and drink businesses. My Vaccine Passes must be used until 11:59pm on 4 April.
  • There will be a 200-person limit for indoor gatherings and events with My Vaccine Pass.
  • You do not need to wear a face mask outdoors.
  • Other face mask rules remain unchanged — face masks are still required in most indoor settings.
  • There is no requirement to scan in or for a business to display a QR code poster or have mandatory record keeping.
At Orange
  • There will be no limit for indoor or outdoor gatherings.
  • You do not need to wear a face mask outdoors.
  • Other face mask rules remain unchanged.
  • There is no requirement to scan in or for a business to display a QR code poster or have mandatory record keeping.
At Green
  • There will be no restrictions.
  • We encourage you to wear a mask and keep up good health behaviours.
  • There is no requirement to scan in or for a business to display a QR code poster or have mandatory record keeping.
  • The entire country remains at Red. On April 4, the Government will decide whether all or parts of the country can move to Orange.

My Vaccine Pass
From 11:59pm on 4 April 2022, there will be no requirement to use My Vaccine Pass. Until 4 April, where My Vaccine Passes are not used, the current restrictions remain — but after this time, the new capacity limits will apply to everyone.
After 4 April, businesses will still be able to use the system if they want to.

Scanning and record keeping
From 11.59pm this Friday 25 March scanning will no longer be required.
  • Businesses and locations will no longer need to display QR code posters or have mandatory record keeping systems and processes in place.
  • People are encouraged not to remove the COVID-19 tracer app from their phone just yet in case it's needed in the future.

Worker vaccine mandates
From 11:59pm on 4 April 2022, some government vaccine mandates for workers will be removed. 
Workers that will still be covered by a government vaccine mandate include: 
  • health and disability sector workers
  • prison staff
  • border and MIQ workers. 

Vaccine mandates remain in place for these sectors because workers in these areas have a high level of contact with people at risk of developing serious illness from COVID-19. For border workers, there is a high risk of exposure to new variants. 

Businesses will be able to voluntarily introduce workforce vaccination requirements if appropriate to the workforce.