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New Zealand Is Scrapping Outdoor Gathering Limits, Vaccine Passes and Easing Indoor Density Caps From Friday

A big shake-up to the rules at red is set to be welcome news for festival organisers and hospitality owners.
By Sarah Templeton
March 23, 2022
By Sarah Templeton
March 23, 2022

Hospitality owners and festival organisers will be looking at a much bigger rest of 2022 thanks to a new announcement from the Government that gathering limits are changing from Friday, while vaccine mandates are out the door next month.

The rule shake-up came in a press conference from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Wednesday, March 23, where she revealed that while the current COVID-19 protection traffic light framework will remain in effect at least for the short term, some big changes are coming for the 'red' level we know so well.

Outdoor gathering limits will be scrapped from 11.59pm this Friday, February 25, while indoor density caps are set to increase from 100 to 200 people in a venue at one time. But don't put a dance floor boogie on your weekend to-do list just yet — people still must be seated and distanced inside venues.

This will be welcome news for festival and event organisers — a slew of the country's beloved New Year's festivals had to be canned in December last year, thanks to gathering limits which left them unable to go ahead.

In another pretty huge move, the vaccine mandates — which currently see unvaccinated citizens unable to enter hospitality venues, some retail outlets or work in certain high-risk sectors — are also set to be scrapped next month. These regulations will be gone for most of the country from 11.59pm on Monday, April 4 — but private businesses may still use them if they wish. Scanning QR codes at venues will also no longer be a requirement for double-vaccinated citizens.

Face masks will still be a requirement in most indoor settings at red.

New Zealand currently has over 100,000 active cases of COVID-19 in the community.

Rules around outdoor gathering limits and indoor density caps are set to change at 11.59pm Friday, February 25, while vaccine mandates will be scrapped from 11.59pm on April 4. For more information, head to the Government's official COVID-19 website.

Published on March 23, 2022 by Sarah Templeton
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