Vaccine passes, QR codes no longer a requirement - Ardern

Source: 1News

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that from 11.59pm April 4,"vaccine passes will no longer be required as part of the Covid-19 Protection Framework".

"For now, they will no longer be mandated."

She said: “Mandates and passes were undoubtedly one of the reasons that we reached 95% of the eligible population vaccinated to achieve the near elimination of Delta over summer.

"But something has changed since we bought them in and that something is Omicron. In the pandemic so far we’ve had more than 500,000 confirmed cases, almost all of which have been in the Omicron wave.”

Read more: PM reveals changes to mandates, vaccines passes and restrictions

Ardern said because the country’s Covid cases are believed to have peaked, it is safe to remove vaccine passes for now.

“I say for now as though I will still provide the disclaimer that every country realistically must, that should there be a variant that demands it or a change in circumstances, we may need them again.

"But for post peak, that will no longer be the case,” she said.

A vaccine pass is displayed on a phone for entry into a cafe.

Ardern also announced QR codes will no longer be required, meaning people do not need to scan in at shops and venues.

“From this weekend, you will no longer be required to scan everywhere you go and businesses are no longer required to provide the mechanisms to do so.”

She continued, “we do have an ask for everyone though, if a variant arises in the world that evades vaccines or is more deadly, contact tracing will once again provide a critical role.

"Please stand ready as a business to stand up QR codes again, or as a citizen to pull out your tracer app at a moment's notice. Don’t remove the app from your phone just yet,” Ardern said.

She said QR codes have played a significant part in New Zealand’s Covid-19 response “but for now, you can all stop hovering around the entrance to a supermarket or venue while we stumble around on our phones, a welcome change for us all I’m sure.”