Scan, mask and pass - the basics of the traffic light system

Source: 1News

From 11.59pm tonight (Thursday) all of New Zealand will be entering the Covid-19 traffic light system .

Northland, Auckland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes Districts, Kawerau, Whakatāne, Ōpōtiki Districts, Gisborne District, Wairoa District, Rangitīkei, Whanganui and Ruapehu Districts will move in at Red.

The rest of the North Island and the whole of the South Island will move in at the Orange setting. No region will start in Green.

But what does that mean? And what can you do?

Speaking to Breakfast on Thursday morning, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni said it was important people just focused on the basics before anything else.

"It's not that difficult ... keep in mind it's about having your vaccination pass, scanning wherever you go and having a mask.

"When you get to the Green part of the traffic lights there are less scenarios where you are required to wear a mask.

"But that's pretty much it - scan, mask and vaccine pass."

Woman wearing face mask (file picture).

Most businesses can open, even under the Red setting, with Sepuloni comparing it to Alert Level 2.

"If you think about hospitality for instance, you can still operate, but you must require that people have vaccination certificates if you want to open and there are still limitations on numbers.

"If you don't require vaccination passes you have to revert to takeaway and contactless delivery."

At Orange, the same rules apply but there are no limitations on numbers.

As for people gathering, up to 25 people are allowed to gather inside a person's home at the Red setting.

That number jumps to 100 in a public setting (such as a wedding) if all attendees are double-vaccinated.

Travelling between regions with different settings is allowed, but those travelling from a Red region must either be double vaccinated or have proof of a negative test.

While there will not be any road blocks to check people's status, Sepuloni said there would be random checks and those found without either of the requirements risked heavy fines.