COVID-19 Protection Framework (traffic lights)

New Zealand moves to the COVID-19 Protection Framework, also known as the traffic lights, on 3 December. This new approach to COVID-19 will introduce more freedoms for vaccinated New Zealanders.

Key dates

  • 17 November – My Vaccine Pass is made available to the public.
  • 29 November – Cabinet will confirm the decision to move Auckland and the rest of New Zealand into the new framework.
  • 2 December - At 11:59pm, all of New Zealand will move to the framework. Auckland will move to Red. Settings for the rest of New Zealand are yet to be decided on.
  • 15 December – People travelling out of Auckland will need to be fully vaccinated, or have a negative test 72 hours prior to departure, to leave Auckland and visit other parts of the country. This requirement will remain in place during the core summer period, until 17 January 2022.

In the coming weeks, the Government will also announce further information about how testing, contact tracing, care in the community and social support will be provided for those who get COVID-19. Detailed individual sector guidance for the new traffic light system will also be released. 

About the new system

Elimination and the alert levels have served New Zealand well. They delivered the lowest number of cases, hospitalisations and deaths in the OECD, gave us sustained periods of days without restrictions and a strong economy that sees GDP rising and unemployment falling to historic low levels. But it was never intended as a forever strategy.

We now have the unique advantage of moving to the next phase of managing COVID-19 in our community with a highly vaccinated population. 

The framework brings us a world where we are freer to move and live with less disruption and offers the stability businesses need to plan for the future. It introduces traffic lights to manage COVID-19 in the community:

  • Green
  • Orange
  • Red

The framework is more flexible than the current Alert Level system because we know that businesses that only open to vaccinated customers pose a lower risk. We can move up levels when needed to control an outbreak.

Green

Green is when COVID-19 is across New Zealand, including sporadic imported cases. Community transmission is limited and COVID-19 hospitalisations will be at a manageable level. The health system will be ready to respond, including primary care, public health, and hospitals.

How we stay safe at Green

  • Record keeping and scanning are required.
  • Face coverings are mandatory on flights and encouraged indoors.

Where we can go at Green

  • Public facilities are open.
  • Retail, including famers markets, is open.
  • Workplaces are open.
  • ECEs, schools, kura and tertiary providers are open.

Orange

At Orange, there will be community transmission, with pressure on our health system. The whole of health system is focussing  its resources, but can manage primary care, public health, and hospitals. There may also be an increasing risk for at-risk people.

How we stay safe at Orange

  • Record keeping and scanning are required.
  • Face coverings are mandatory on flights, public transport, in taxis, retail, public venues, and encouraged elsewhere.

Where we can go at Orange

  • Public facilities are open with capacity limits based on 1-metre distancing.
  • Retail, including farmers markets, is open with capacity limits based on 1-metre distancing.
  • ECEs, schools, kura and tertiary providers, with public health measures in place.
  • Workplaces are open.

Red

At Red, action is needed to protect at-risk people and protect our health system from an unsustainable number of hospitalisations.

How we stay safe at Red

  • Record keeping and scanning are required.
  • Face coverings are mandatory on flights, public transport, in taxis, retail, education (Year 4 and up, including tertiary), public venues, and encouraged elsewhere.

Where we can go at Red

  • Public facilities are open with capacity limits based on 1-metre distancing.
  • Retail is open with capacity limits based on 1-metre distancing.
  • Workplaces are open, with working from home appropriate for some staff.
  • ECEs, schools, kura and tertiary are open with public health measures in place.

My Vaccine Pass is now available

Requesting your pass only takes a few minutes and will be emailed to you within 24 hours. The quickest way to get your pass is through your My Covid Record, but if you cannot access this service you can call 0800 222 478 — have your NHI number ready.

2021 05 19 00957
COVID 19 vaccine hanna 1920x900

Get vaccinated now to enjoy greater freedoms

To enjoy the full life everyone in New Zealand deserves, get vaccinated today.

If you are already vaccinated, do your best to help your friends and family get their vaccinations so we can all enjoy life within the new system sooner. 

Vaccinator PLACEHOLDER 03 v3

Check your COVID-19 vaccination records

If you have had your first or second dose of the vaccine, now is the time to make sure your vaccination details are accurate

Go to My Covid Record now to confirm your vaccination information is correct.

Making workplaces as safe as possible

We want to help protect workplaces and workers from COVID-19. We are mandating vaccination for workers at businesses where customers need to show COVID-19 vaccination certificates to make those workplaces as safe as possible and give confidence to staff and customers.

Cafe workers
2021 04 08 MT 00459

Tracking the vaccination rate in your community

Our interactive vaccination map allows you to keep track of the vaccination rates across New Zealand.

You can see the proportion of people who have received their first or second dose, and compare your area or DHB with others in New Zealand.

Search your address or check the map to find your area or DHB. 

We can start to reconnect with the world

Soon we will be on a pathway to reopening our borders and reconnecting people and businesses with the world. We will take a cautious approach to reopening. 

High vaccination levels mean we will not have to rely so much on a tight border to keep cases out. 

In the future, vaccinated travellers who have tested negative for COVID-19 will be able to have a shorter stay in MIQ, as well as options for isolating at their home.

Reconnecting New Zealand  (external link)

Trans Tasman bubble first flight Wellington Airport Mark Tantrum  2021 00513

Last updated: at