New Zealand to try new COVID-19 system with Auckland reopening


Bars and restaurants And gyms It reopened in Auckland on Friday as the last major parts of the more than 100-day lockdown ended.

New Zealand A new phase in its coronavirus response has begun in which there will be no lockdowns, but people will be required to fully vaccinate – and prove this through vaccine permits – in order to access many services.

The government decided that vaccination Rates were high enough to transition to the new system, with about 87% of people over 12 years of age vaccinated. In Auckland, which has been the epicenter of the country’s outbreak, the rate has exceeded 90%.

Customers enjoy meals and drinks at a restaurant in central Auckland, New Zealand, Friday, December 3, 2021. Bars, restaurants and gyms reopened in Auckland on Friday as the last major parts of the more than 100-day shutdown ended. New Zealand has begun a new phase in its virus response in which there will be no lockdown, but people will be required to show vaccine permits for many services.
(Alex Burton/NZ Herald via AP)

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The threat posed by the new omicron variant has not altered reopening plans, after New Zealand on Sunday restricted travel from nine Southern African countries. No cases of omicron have been found in New Zealand and officials remain confident that cases will be caught at the border by the quarantine system.

On Friday, a sense of excitement reigned among patrons in Auckland, some of whom visited the bars the moment they were allowed to open in the middle of the night.

A man sits outside a cafe in central Auckland, New Zealand, Friday, December 3, 2021. Bars, restaurants and gyms reopened in Auckland on Friday as the last major parts of a 100-day lockdown ended.  New Zealand has begun a new phase in its virus response in which there will be no lockdown but people will be required to show permits for vaccinations for many services.  (Alex Burton/NZ Herald via AP)

A man sits outside a cafe in central Auckland, New Zealand, Friday, December 3, 2021. Bars, restaurants and gyms reopened in Auckland on Friday as the last major parts of a 100-day lockdown ended. New Zealand has begun a new phase in its virus response in which there will be no lockdown but people will be required to show permits for vaccinations for many services. (Alex Burton/NZ Herald via AP)
(Alex Burton/NZ Herald via AP)

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There is a sense of relief from many business owners, who will try to make the most of the next two weeks before then, said Michael Barnett, chief executive of the Auckland Chamber of Business. Christmas.

He said many owners are trying to fit in with new obligations to check vaccine permits.

“There were a lot of questions, more than anything,” Barnett said. Questions about How do I work? What do I do? what did he ask? “It was a bedtime day for many companies.”

Customers eat outside at cafes in central Auckland, New Zealand, on Friday, December 3, 2021. Bars, restaurants and gyms reopened in Auckland on Friday as the last major parts of the more than 100-day lockdown ended.  New Zealand has begun a new phase in its virus response in which there will be no lockdown but people will be required to show permits for vaccinations for many services.  (Alex Burton/NZ Herald via AP)

Customers eat outside at cafes in central Auckland, New Zealand, on Friday, December 3, 2021. Bars, restaurants and gyms reopened in Auckland on Friday as the last major parts of the more than 100-day lockdown ended. New Zealand has begun a new phase in its virus response in which there will be no lockdown but people will be required to show permits for vaccinations for many services. (Alex Burton/NZ Herald via AP)
(Alex Burton/NZ Herald via AP)

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Some restrictions remain. Auckland’s border with the rest of the country wasn’t reopened until mid-December.

The new “traffic lights” system is designed to indicate places where an outbreak is putting pressure on the health system. The green designation imposes few restrictions, orange requires more mask wearing and spacing, and red requires sizes of 100 or less.

Auckland and a few other areas started at the red light while the rest of the country started at orange. The government hopes to move Auckland to orange soon.

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