New Zealand removes all Covid restrictions

Face masks only at health facilities; vaccination for travellers removed

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with Dr Ayesha Verrall at the Media Conference on September 12, 2022 (Screen Grab)

Venkat Raman
Auckland, September 12, 2022

The government has removed almost all Covid-19 related restrictions and shut down the Traffic Lights system, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced.

She told a media conference following the weekly Cabinet Meeting that these changes will become effective at 11.59 pm tonight and that wearing masks will no longer be mandatory.

However, people wearing them should be respected she said and added that the masks will remain compulsory at healthcare centres, aged care facilities and pharmacies.

While people affected by Covid-19 should isolate at home for seven days, their family members will not be obliged to do so, she said.

Vaccine mandates to end

“All government vaccine mandates will end on September 26, 2022, and from that date, incoming travellers and aircrew will not be required to have the vaccination. The government will continue to support businesses and workers through leave support payment and all New Zealanders who are 65 years and above and all Maori aged 50 and above will have automatic access to Covid anti-virals if they test positive,” Ms Ardern said.

It is time to safely turn the page on Covid-19 management, and live without the extraordinary measures, she said and described the decisions as a milestone in Covid response.

“For the first time in two years, we can approach summer with the much-needed certainty New Zealanders and business need, helping to drive greater economic activity critical to our economic recovery. The most recent health advice now tells us that with the lowest cases and hospitalisations since February, our population well vaccinated, and expanded access to anti-viral medicines, New Zealand is in a position to move forward. You will no longer be required by the government to wear a mask anywhere, except in healthcare settings like hospitals, GPs and aged residential care facilities,” she said.

Ms Ardern said that some workplaces, special events, or marae may still insist on face masks, but this will be at their discretion.

“All remaining government vaccine mandates will end in two weeks on 26 September. It will now be an employer’s discretion as to whether they require their workforce to be vaccinated. Vaccination requirements for all travellers arriving into New Zealand including aircrew also end, and the requirement to test on day 0/1 and 5/6 will now just be encouraged,” she said.

Anti-Viral medicines

Covid-19 Minister Ayesha Verrall announced that the government has purchased 40,000 more anti-viral medicine courses, expected to arrive over the next few days.

“We are giving greater access to anti-viral medicines to New Zealanders and have secured agreements that provide a significant boost to our supply for the long term.  Anyone over the age of 65, Māori and Pacific people over the age of 50, or anyone who meets Pharmac requirements, can access the treatment in the early stages of contracting the virus. This means more than double the number of New Zealanders will be able to access these medicines if they need them than previously,” she said.

The current rolling seven-day average of hospitalisation is 241, the lowest since February and down from 273 this time last week. There are 225 current hospitalisations, 1950 deaths and a seven-day rolling average of five.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with Dr Ayesha Verrall at the Media Conference on September 12, 2022 (Screen Grab)

Share this story

Related Stories

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Indian Newslink

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement