New Zealand has moved to red light Covid-19 setting.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the move on Sunday 23rd January with the country moving levels last night at 11:59pm
The move was prompted after nine Covid-19 cases in Nelson yesterday were confirmed as the Omicron variant, Ardern said.
Ardern said that “Omicron is now circulating in Auckland and possibly the Nelson-Marlborough region, if not elsewhere.”
New Zealand will now focus is on slowing the spread of the Omicron variant and the strategy includes rapid tests, contact tracing and isolating cases and contacts.
The government has been preparing for three stages in its response to Omicron, Ardern said.
In stage one you will need to isolate for 14 days if you are a case or a contact.
She said stage two is a transition stage where the system is adjusted to identifying those at greater risk of Omicron and where there is the greatest risk of severe illness from Omicron.
Ardern said New Zealand is not likely to enter stage three for a few weeks and in this stage there will be changes to contact tracing.
Red light setting
The red light settings is not a lockdown.
Some things are restricted, but businesses and schools are still open. However, from now students in Year 4 upwards will be required to wear a mask.