By Deborah Russell, MP for New Lynn
We’ve all worked incredibly hard over the past few months to keep ourselves and the rest of New Zealand safe. It has been incredibly tough going but we can now look ahead to a new phase in our response which will allow us to enjoy a safe summer reconnecting with loved ones across the motu.
Our approach so far has served us well. We’re entering this new phase better placed than many other countries, with high vaccination rates, a strong economy, and fewer hospitalisations and deaths. Many countries that recently removed restrictions are now putting them back in place as they face a surge in fourth and fifth waves.
Cabinet has confirmed that we will move to the Covid-19 Protection Framework at 11.59pm on Thursday 2 December, making Friday 3 December the first day the traffic light system will be operationalised. Here in Auckland, we’ll initially move into the Red setting of the new framework. When that happens, you’ll need proof of vaccination so you can do many of the things you love – like going out to bars and restaurants, getting a haircut, or working out at the gym.
If you’re fully vaccinated, visit mycovidrecord.health.nz and request your Vaccine Pass or call 0800 222 478. It’s very easy and I don’t want anyone in the New Lynn electorate to miss out. 90% of those living in the Auckland DHB have had both doses of the vaccine. That is an amazing response, and I thank all of you who have stepped up.
The Auckland boundary will be opening on 15 December, so we can reconnect with loved ones. Until 17 January, travellers with a valid vaccination pass or negative pre-departure test will be able to cross the Auckland boundary for any reason. This safety net will reduce spread and allow us to safely spend our summer holidays with family and friends. After this, there will no longer be a boundary in place around Auckland.
I wish you all a wonderful and safe Christmas and New Year as you connect with your loved ones over summer.