South Island may move to new Covid system early if DHBs reach 90 per cent vaccination

Author
Devon Bolger, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 22 Oct 2021, 11:26AM
The South Island will stay in alert level 2 but could move to the Government's new traffic light system early if all DHBs reach a vaccination target of 90 per cent. (Photo / George Heard)
The South Island will stay in alert level 2 but could move to the Government's new traffic light system early if all DHBs reach a vaccination target of 90 per cent. (Photo / George Heard)

South Island may move to new Covid system early if DHBs reach 90 per cent vaccination

Author
Devon Bolger, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 22 Oct 2021, 11:26AM

The South Island will stay in alert level 2 but may move to the Government's new traffic light system early if all DHBs reach a vaccination target of 90 per cent.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the announcement while unveiling the Government's new Covid system today.

The new traffic light framework will mean everyday freedoms for fully vaccinated Kiwis, rather than a reliance on lockdowns.

The system will make use of vaccine certificates. Businesses will be able to continue to operate at each of the risk levels, and each setting can be used in a highly targeted and localised way.

It will come into effect when each DHB hit a 90 per cent full vaccination target.

Ardern said these settings will be reviewed on November 29, and the South Island could move into the new system earlier if all those DHBs have already hit the 90 per cent target.

She said no decision has been made yet.

"I wanted to signal to the South Island if that were the case [90% vaccination] then we would consider that."

70.7 per cent of people in the Nelson Marlborough DHB area are fully vaccinated, 70.4 per cent in the Southern DHB, 66.9 per cent in South Canterbury, 61.7 per cent in Canterbury and 60.6 per cent on the West Coast.

Under the new system, red is for when the virus is spreading in a way that threatens the most vulnerable and could overwhelm the health system.

Orange means no limits for vaccine certificates for hospitality, gatherings and events. Limits will apply if no vaccine certificates are used.

Green will have limits if no vaccine certificates are used for hospitality, gatherings and events.

Auckland will move into red when each of its three DHBs hit the 90 per cent target. The rest of the country will move to orange.