The government sets new pathway to freedom from Covid restrictions

At traffic lights, safety depends on everyone on the road

(Image from TV One News)

Key things to note

  • There are 129 new community cases; 120 in Auckland and nine in the Waikato. There are five new cases at the border.
  • New Zealand will move to a new Covid-19 Protection Framework when 90% of the eligible population is fully vaccinated.
  • New funding will help businesses transition to the new Covid-19 protection framework.
  • New funding announced to boost Maori vaccination rates.
  • A third dose of the vaccine for severely immunocompromised people is now available.
  • Golden rules for Labour weekend to keep everyone safe from Covid-19.

Information about the new Covid-19 Protection Framework

  • High vaccination rates mean New Zealand can take a new approach to managing Covid-19 with fewer restrictions and less reliance on lockdowns.
  • New Zealand will move to the new Covid-19 Protection Framework when 90% of the eligible population is fully vaccinated across each DHB.
  • Auckland will be able to transition when 90% of eligible Aucklanders in each of the city’s three DHBs have been fully vaccinated.
  • The new framework has three levels: Green, Orange and Red:
    • Green is when there could be some Covid-19 in the community but at low levels. At Green, fully vaccinated people can enjoy all events, hospitality and gatherings by showing a vaccination certificate.
    • Orange is when there is increasing community transmission with increasing pressure on the health system. At Orange, everything remains open for people with vaccination certificates.
    • Red is when the virus is spreading in a way that means there’s a need to take action to protect vulnerable people in a community and prevent pressure on the health system. At Red, there will be additional restrictions, but these will be greater for people without a vaccination certificate.
  • Vaccination certificates will provide greater freedoms at each level. There will be extra public health precautions built in at higher levels to minimise the impact of Covid-19 and spread.
  • Businesses that provide services only to vaccinated people can operate at every level of the new framework and without any restrictions at Green and Orange.
  • Cabinet will review vaccination progress on November 29, 2021.

New funding to help businesses transition to the new Covid-19 protection framework

  • Funding of up to $940 million per fortnight will be available as part of the Government’s support package for businesses impacted by Covid-19.
  • Resurgence Support Payments (RSPs) will be doubled for businesses affected by higher alert levels, as the country transitions to the new Covid-19 Protection Framework.
  • Ministers have also agreed a $60 million package for business advice and mental health support to help Auckland businesses through the transitional period.
  • As part of the package, $10 million will be available for mental health and wellbeing support through a programme to be designed with the EMA and Auckland Business Chamber of Commerce.

Maori Communities Covid-19 Fund – new funding to boost vaccination rates

  • A $120 million fund has been established to accelerate Māori vaccination rates and support communities.
  • The fund will directly fund Maori, iwi, community organisations and providers to deliver local vaccination initiatives for whanau, and support Maori and communities to prepare for the new framework.
  • $60 million will go towards accelerating Maori vaccination rates. A further $60 million will support Maori and iwi-led initiatives to protect their communities.

A third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine for severely immunocompromised people is now available

  • A third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, recommended for severely immunocompromised people is now available to be accessed.
  • The eligibility criteria is complex and applies to only a small group of people who are severely immunocompromised.
  • People who meet the eligibility criteria will need to be prescribed the dose by their GP or other specialist.

Golden Rules for Labour Weekend

  • Places in Alert Level 2
  • Wear a face covering when out and about
  • Keep two metres apart from people you do not know in public
  • Practice good hygiene – wash hands regularly, cough and sneeze into the elbow
  • Scan in or keep a physical record of wherever you go
  • Stay home if unwell and get advice from Healthline about having a test
  • Vaccination is our best protection against Covid-19. If you are not vaccinated, get vaccinated today

For Auckland at Alert Level 3

  • Stay at home, keep your bubble small
  • Wear face covering and keep your distance from people
  • Keep it outdoors. Two households can meet up with a maximum of 10 people — keep two metres apart from the other household.
  • People can participate in outdoor exercise groups. Up to 10 people (from up to 10 households) including the instructor can take part, while maintaining a physical distance of two meters
  • Tamariki (children) can have playdates with one other household at a time — as long it is outside, and they do not go inside or use indoor facilities.
  • Travel to Waiheke or Aotea Island (Great Barrier) is restricted to residents only
  • Overnight stays, for example at a bach or in holiday accommodation, cannot happen
  • No travel between regions, except for permitted reasons
  • Vaccination is our best protection against Covid-19. If you are not vaccinated, get vaccinated today.
  • Stay home if unwell and get advice from Healthline about having a test
  • Practice good hygiene – wash hands regularly, cough and sneeze into the elbow
  • Scan in or keep a physical record of wherever you go

For parts of the Waikato at Alert Level 3

  • Stay at home, keep your bubble small
  • Wear a face covering and keep your distance from people
  • People can exercise outdoors, but stay close to home
  • No travel, except for permitted reasons
  • Vaccination is our best protection against Covid-19. If you are not vaccinated, get vaccinated today.
  • Stay home if unwell and get advice from Healthline about having a test
  • Practice good hygiene – wash hands regularly, cough and sneeze into the elbow
  • Scan in or keep a physical record of wherever you go

People with symptoms in Auckland locations of interest should get tested.

  • People with mild symptoms, including those fully vaccinated and living in the Auckland suburbs of New Lynn, Rosedale, Redvale, and Bayswater should get tested as soon as possible. Isolate until you receive a negative result.
  • This testing helps provide assurance that any undetected spread of Covid-19 in these communities is identified and addressed quickly.

For more information on all of these key points, visit Unite Against COVID-19 and the resources listed at the bottom of this email.
Source: Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Wellington

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