Visitor cap altered under Red traffic light setting for spots like zoos

Source: 1News

The 100-person cap on places like zoos and museums has been altered from the Red setting of the Covid-19 traffic light system.

Meerkat's at Auckland Zoo

It follows a number of key updates to the system, formally known as the Covid-19 Protection Framework.

Updated guidelines were released on Friday by the Government, including changes to how public facilities and gatherings will work, ahead of New Zealand’s move to the traffic light system late next Thursday.

There will no longer be a cap of 100 people who can visit a public facility at Red at any one time. This includes zoos, museums, public swimming pools and libraries.

Instead, there will be a capacity limit on the number of people who can visit based on 1m physical distancing.

Where vaccine passes aren’t used, gathering limits at Red, including outdoor and indoor gatherings, have now been increased from 10 people to 25 people.

University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker said there should be no indoor gatherings of unvaccinated people at the Red setting, based on the understanding that the virus is usually spread indoors and that the Red setting of the traffic light system is the highest level of control used when there is widespread transmission of Covid-19.

"So it would be most consistent to not allow any indoor gatherings for unvaccinated people at Red Level," Baker said in a statement.

However, if vaccine passes are used the limit remains at 100 people.

Gatherings include those held at home, weddings, funerals and tangihanga, marae, social sports and places of worship.

These changes follow cross-sector engagement, lead by the Covid-19 group within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

The country moves to the traffic light system next Thursday, December 2 at 11.59pm.

Regions will be split up and put into different levels of the traffic light system, depending on risk.

Auckland will automatically go into Red, while areas that have low vaccination rates will also move to Red.

Guidance for businesses on the general rules for operating under the Covid-19 Protection Framework has also now been updated by MBIE and is live on its website.