Jacinda Ardern wary of Covid-19 traffic light setting changes after just 10 days in new system
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said a key factor that will influence the decision to change Auckland’s traffic light setting is that the city has yet to go through a cycle of Covid-19 infection in the new system.
The Cabinet is due to review the traffic light settings under the new Covid protection framework on Monday, with an announcement of any changes due at 4 p.m.
The new system was introduced on December 3, when the districts of Northland and Auckland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki and Gisborne, Wairoa, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu turned red.
The rest of the North Island and the whole of the South Island entered the new system at the least restrictive orange level. No region of the country has entered the least restrictive green framework.
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At Breakfast On Monday, Ardern was asked if there was any chance the Cabinet would decide to move Auckland to the Orange Frame.
“We’re literally going to sit down and take all the advice we’ve been given and make that decision this afternoon,” Ardern said.
One factor that would influence the Cabinet decision was that New Zealand had not been in the new system, “this significant easing”, during a transmission cycle, which could show whether there had been an increase in cases. .
“We want to be careful,” Ardern said. “Once we make that transition, the kinds of things you’re seeing in Auckland right now are the kinds of things we’ll be looking for – those high vaccination rates, the handling of the epidemic.
“These numbers have been good lately. It’s just that we are in a period of transition, and that’s why we have to be careful, ”she said.
“It’s about making sure we’re careful, so that we don’t see a runaway case that puts us back in the red.
“It’s about loosening up, so you can stick to lower level restrictions, because that’s what we all want.”
PM Jacinda Ardern announced that Auckland and some regions with low vaccination rates will enter the new Covid-19 protection framework at the red setting, with the rest of the country doing so at the orange setting. (First published on November 20, 2021)
Asked about the impact of the Omicron variant on the Cabinet decision, Ardern said the new strain is expected to arrive at the border at some point.
“We still have border measures. We always strive to make sure we don’t see it quickly sowing in our communities.
“We are working very hard to slow this down with these border measures,” Ardern said.
This would give New Zealand time to see what the impact of the Omicron variant was on things like vaccines.
“We are still awaiting data on what this means for vaccines. The first signs are that the vaccines are having an impact, or will have an impact, on Omicron, but it’s good to have just a little more time to see this in its entirety.
When asked if plans to reopen the borders could be delayed due to the Omicron variant, Ardern said she expected to have more information before the first border change scheduled for mid-year. January.
Even with this change that would affect New Zealanders in Australia traveling to that country, people would be tested upon arrival, would have to self-isolate and be tested while in isolation.
The government would continue to review the evidence, Ardern said. “That’s exactly what we’ve been doing throughout, making sure our response is fit for purpose based on what’s going on with Covid. We need measures that last the distance.