9 August 2022

New Zealand moves to Orange from midnight tonight in time for Easter

Kiwis will be able to enjoy the long weekend with greater freedoms across the country from 11:59pm on Wednesday as New Zealand moves to Orange.

At Orange, you can continue to do everyday activities, with no capacity limits or distancing requirements at venues. You can visit cafes and bars, attend gatherings and events, and go to the hairdresser and gym. Workplaces and schools can open

“Over the past few weeks we’ve seen a sustained reduction in cases and hospitalisations despite the relaxation of settings, so we’re confident a move to Orange can lock in those gains while helping the country return to a greater degree of normality,” COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said while making this transition to Orange announced today.

“Under Orange there are no indoor capacity limits and the seated and separated rule for hospitality venues lifts, so bars, cafes and restaurants are able to fill up again. 

“Wearing a face mask at Orange is still important, especially with capacity limits removed.  People are required to wear a face mask in many indoor settings. Next to being vaccinated and having a booster, face masks are our main defence against COVID-19 at Orange.

“We know this shift down to Orange will be welcome news to many as we head into Easter weekend and the school holidays and connect with loved ones.

“But there is still Omicron in the community, and the threat of new variants arriving here is still risk, so I urge everyone to continue to be cautious and think about the health of others, especially those who are immunocompromised or at higher risk of long-term health impacts from infection, Chris Hipkins said.

Face masks, however, will still be required in many indoor locations. You must wear a face mask:

  • on domestic flights
  • on public transport
  • at indoor arrival/departure points for domestic flights/public transport
  • in taxis or ride share vehicles
  • inside a retail business
  • inside public facilities
  • when visiting a healthcare service
  • if you work at a gathering, and in a close-proximity business, etc.