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Jacinda Ardern reveals which parts of the country are at red and orange

The whole of the South Island will move to orange while parts of the North Island will be split between red and orange under the new COVID-19 Protection Framework. 

Jacinda Ardern reveals which parts of the country are at red and orange

New Zealand will be moving to the COVID-19 Protection Framework, also called the ‘traffic light’ system, from 11:59pm Thursday 2 December 2021.

Speaking after the cabinet meeting today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said which regions will move to red and orange under the new framework:


  • Auckland
  • Northland
  • Taupō and Rotorua Lakes Districts
  • Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki Districts
  • Gisborne District
  • Wairoa District
  • Rangitikei
  • Whanganui
  • Ruapehu Districts


  • The rest of the North Island
  • The whole of the South Island

The settings will be reviewed in two weeks.

The new framework will give New Zealanders with vaccine passes more freedoms to go to places like bars and restaurants, gyms and large gatherings.

“In Auckland, it means seeing friends and family indoors again,” she said. “You can now see family and friends again in their homes, and use the bathroom inside. Luxury. If you are unvaccinated you can gather with others but the gathering limits are lower across each of the levels.”

“At orange, the big change here for parts of the country which will enter into this setting is that for the vaccinated and where vaccine passes are used, there are no gathering limits.

“People can gather again safely. At red, it will feel a lot like level 2. Your vaccine pass lets you go everywhere but number limits of 100 will apply to most activities.”

On 15 December, people travelling out of Auckland will be required to be fully vaccinated or provide a negative test 72 hours prior to departure. The requirement will remain in place until 17 January.

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