By the Re: team
New Zealand will stay at the orange level of the Covid protection framework.
The next review of the traffic light settings will be in June.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins today said staying in Orange was "appropriate" for managing this stage of the Omicron outbreak.
“While daily cases numbers have flattened nationally, they are again beginning to increase in the Northern region and hospitalisation rates have also increased slightly over the past month," Hipkins said.
"In addition, our latest Covid-19 modelling indicates that under current conditions, there is a likelihood of a secondary wave of cases appearing."
Hipkins said he continued to encourage people to be cautious and to think about the health of others - especially those who are immunocompromised or people at a higher risk of long-term health impacts if they get infected.
“It is encouraging to see case numbers remain steady, but there are other factors at play that tell us to remain cautious and not yet move to Green.
"These include the arrival of new strains of colds and flus, which will add to the workloads of our already busy hospitals."
The main defences against Covid-19 would still be mask wearing, vaccination and self-isolation, he said.
People will still be required to wear a face mask in many indoor settings, he said.
Top Image: People walking along Willis St in Wellington with some wearing masks. (File photo) Photo: Michael Madden-Smith/Re:
“It is less contagious than Covid-19 and the outbreaks are much smaller,” Krause says.
“We are told from our people, we need this.”
New Zealand has been specifically asked to help with this training.