Minister Chris Hipkins has announced that the whole country will move to the Orange Traffic Light setting at 11.59pm tonight (Tuesday 13 April).
"Fewer people on average are in hospital across the country now than when we last reviewed proceedings. In Auckland, all three hospitals are each reporting fewer than 100 patients with COVID-19 Currently in hospital,” noted Hipkins.
"The evidence is clear that we're now coming off the peak."
This news will come as some relief to hospitality businesses, under Orange Light there are no limits on the number of people who can be at a venue — either indoors or outdoors and you do not have to be seated to be served.
Facemasks are still being encouraged for public spaces such as retail stores and public transport and they will still be required for some gatherings and events.
People must still wear a face mask:
- on domestic flights
- on public transport, this includes Cook Strait Ferries but does not include passengers within their allocated carriage on specified Kiwirail services or when you are on a ship that does not have an enclosed space for passengers
- at indoor arrival and departure points for domestic flights and public transport
- if you are aged 12 years or over on Ministry of Education funded school transport and public transport
- in taxis or ride share vehicles
- inside a retail business, for example supermarkets, shopping malls, pharmacies, petrol stations, and takeaway food stores
- inside public facilities, such as museums and libraries, but not at swimming pools
- at a vet clinic
- visiting the indoor area of a court or tribunal — unless the judicial officer does not require them
- at premises operated by local and central government agencies, social service providers, and NZ Police
- in the public area of premises operated by NZ Post Limited
- when visiting a healthcare service, for example a healthcare or aged care facility.
"Things will happen however as we approach the winter months. I do want to be clear, an additional surge of influenza and potentially Covid-19 will inform the decisions we make in the future,” warned Hipkins.