What traffic light system means for you — Ardern answers FAQs

Source: 1News

From Thursday evening, all of New Zealand will be entering the Covid-19 traffic light system — whether in the more restrictive Red setting or Orange.

But, what does it mean for you?

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was confident people would get the hang of it once the system was in place.

To help, she answered some questions from Breakfast viewers on Monday morning, ahead of Cabinet’s announcement.

Can people gather inside homes under the traffic light system?

Gatherings inside homes haven’t been allowed in Auckland for more than 100 days.

But, that’s about to change.

“When we transition into the traffic light system, you can have people in your home again,” Ardern said.

“If you’ve got a mixture of people and there are potentially unvaccinated people in that group, there are still gathering limits, though. If you’re in Red, it’s 25.”

Is it up to businesses to manage the new rules, for example, the use of vaccine passes and mask-wearing?

For the past week, barbers and hairdressers in Auckland had been used as a dummy run of the vaccine pass system, which will play a key role in the traffic light system.

Vaccine pass (file photo).

Barbers and hairdressers are used to operating under public health requirements, Ardern said.

“What we’re adding is the need to check a vaccine pass ... those businesses that weren’t checking in Auckland — because that’s where we were trialling the use of the passes — they will, going forward,” she said.

“When we move [to the traffic light system] at 11.59pm on December 2, barbers and hairdressers will be required to check vaccine passes.

“It’s how you check [the passes] that businesses have some flexibility. But, you are required to check.”

More details about the traffic light system's rules can be found here.

From January 17, New Zealand citizens from Australia can come back into the country without having to go through MIQ. If children of citizens hold an Australian passport, can they come into Aotearoa?

“Yes — partners can also accompany citizens and permanent residents,” Ardern explained.

New Zealand is starting to open back up to vaccinated Kiwis next year, with a seven-day home isolation stay for people travelling from Australia in January, and from most other countries in February.

From January 17, 2022, fully vaccinated NZ citizens, residence-class visa holders and other travellers eligible under current settings can come from Australia to New Zealand without going through MIQ.

All travellers who were not required to go through MIQ would still need a negative pre-departure test, proof of vaccination, travel history declaration, a day 0/1 test, and a negative Covid test after seven days of home isolation.