OMICRON Update | Country Moves to Red Light

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that the whole of New Zealand will move into the Red Light setting of the Traffic Light System at 11.59pm tonight, 23 January, due to further cases of the Omicron variant found in the community. 

Nine Covid-19 cases reported in the Nelson/ Marlborough region have the Omicron variant. A further case has been confirmed late yesterday. These cases are one cluster who flew to a wedding in Auckland, so, there is an Auckland link. They also attended other events in Auckland.

"Red is not lockdown,” noted Ardern.

At red, people can do most things, including travel. Hospitality businesses are open but are capped at 100 people and customers are seated. Workplaces are open, but can choose to ask their employees to work from home.

She urged people to get their booster shots and to be prepared for the event of testing positive, including having "a buddy" - a neighbour or friend who can help deliver groceries if needed.

“Look after each other, and get prepared to stay at home should you need to,” Ardern said.

“We’ve been preparing for this for two years.”

Ardern also thanked New Zealanders for their mahi so far.