COVID-19 protection framework

The next stage of the COVID-19 response is a 3-level traffic light plan to help all New Zealanders stay safe from COVID-19 into the future.

Key dates

  • 17 November – My Vaccine Pass is available (go to the My Covid Record website to see your vaccination status and request a pass).
  • 29 November Cabinet will confirm the decision to move Auckland and the rest of Aotearoa New Zealand into the new traffic light system.
  • 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.

How will the protection framework work?

The COVID-19 protection framework (traffic light system) is planned to begin on 3 December 2021. This decision will be confirmed by Cabinet on 29 November. This framework will help to manage outbreaks and cases without needing to rely on lockdowns as the main measure to stop the virus from spreading. This will offer more freedom to New Zealanders and provide stability to businesses so they can plan for the future.

There will be different requirements for businesses depending on whether or not they choose to request proof of vaccine (vaccine certificates) from their clients.

What are the 3 levels?

This framework will have 3 levels – green, orange and red. More information can be found at the COVID-19 protection framework information page and a one page summary of the framework is also available.

  • Green means there are some COVID-19 cases in the community and COVID-19 hospitalisations are at a manageable level.
  • Orange means there is increasing community transmission that is putting pressure on our health system. This may also mean an increasing risk for at-risk people.
  • Red means action will need to be taken both to protect at-risk people and to protect our health system from a high number of people needing to go to hospital.

    How do I stay safe at green?

    Where can I go at green?

    • Keep track of where you go by keeping records and scanning.
    • You have to wear a mask on flights.
    • Wearing a mask is encouraged when you are at indoor locations.
    • Public facilities
    • Shops and businesses
    • Workplaces
    • Early childhood education centres, schools, kura and tertiary education centres
    • Some outdoor community events
    • You can travel between regions
    • In places not requiring vaccine certificates there are limits on numbers (100 maximum) and 1 metre social distancing requirements.
    How do I stay safe at orange? Where can I go at orange? 
     
    • Keep track of where you go by keeping records and scanning.
    • You have to wear a mask on all public transport, in shops and at all public venues.
    • Wearing a mask is encouraged everywhere else.
     
    • Public facilities with 1 metre social distancing requirements
    • Shops and businesses with 1 metre social distancing requirements
    • Workplaces
    • Early childhood education centres, schools, kura and tertiary education centres
    • Some outdoor community events
    • You can travel between regions
    • In places not requiring vaccine certificates there are limits on numbers (50 maximum) and 1 metre social distancing requirements, and close contact businesses like hairdressers, gyms and events are not able to operate. 
    How do I stay safe at red? Where can I go at red?
     
    • Keep track of where you go by keeping records and scanning.
    • You have to wear a mask on all public transport, in shops and at all public venues.
    • Wearing a mask is recommended whenever you leave your house.
     
    • Public facilities (100 person maximum) with 1 metre social distancing requirements
    • Shops and businesses can open with 1 metre social distancing requirements
    • Workplaces – working from home is encouraged
    • Early childhood education centres, schools, kura and tertiary education centres are open with public health measures in place
    • Some outdoor community events with capacity limits
    • You may not be able to move between regions
    • In places not requiring vaccine certificates hospitality must be contactless, gatherings are limited (10 maximum), tertiary education is distance learning only and gyms and close contact businesses like hairdressers and events (indoor and outdoor) are not open.

Learn more

The COVID-19 protection framework Unite against COVID-19, NZ
Getting proof of your vaccination Unite against COVID-19, NZ

Credits: Health Navigator Editorial Team.