Monday February 14


New Zealand will move to phase 2 of our Omicron plan from 11:59pm tomorrow, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced at a post-cabinet press briefing this afternoon. 

In this phase, isolation periods are reduced for both those who catch Covid-19 and close contacts.

From Wednesday, people who test positive will only have to isolate for 10 days instead of 14.

The isolation period for both close contacts and MIQ reduces from ten days to seven.

Also from Wednesday, a close contact exemption programme would begin, which will allow eligible businesses to have asymptomatic vaccinated close contacts keep going to work instead of isolating if they return a daily negative rapid antigen test.

Over 5600 businesses have already applied to be part of this scheme, in the likes of food production, Ardern says.

“We’ve secured enough rapid antigen tests to deal with a widespread Omicron outbreak, with 7.2 million currently in the country and more arriving over the next week.”

The Prime Minister warned that Omicron cases were going to continue to climb, and that New Zealanders should prepare for it in their communities.

“I would encourage everybody to be developing a self isolation plan. This includes identifying a buddy who can drop off essential items if needed.”

“My most important message remains: get a booster,” Ardern says.

1pm Covid update

There are 981 new cases of Covid-19 today.

Of these, 21 are in Northland, 768 are in Auckland, 82 in Waikato, 23 in Bay of Plenty, 12 in Lakes, 5 in Hawkes Bay, 5 in MidCentral, 1 in Taranaki, 6 in Tairawhiti, 12 in Wairarapa, 6 in Wellington, 14 in Hutt Valley, 2 in Nelson Malborough, 4 in Canterbury, 1 in South Canterbury, and 19 in Southern.  

There are 39 people in hospital, with no people in intensive care or high dependency units.

The average age of people currently in hospital is 55.

95 percent of New Zealand's eligible population have had the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, and 96 percent have had a second dose.

21,588 booster doses were administered yesterday. Booster doses are available to anyone who received their second vaccination three months or more ago.

Click here for a list of updated locations of interest.

Top image: A social distancing sign in a New Zealand shopfront. Credit: Chameleon Picture/iStock

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