The COVID-19 Protection Framework 'Traffic Light System' ended, along with several other COVID-19 public health measures at 11.59pm on 12 September 2022 

The COVID-19 response will remain active and operating in the background, with fewer restrictions on individuals. This will mean that: 

  • Only people who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate for seven days. Household contacts are recommended to take a RAT test every day for five days. So long as they test negative, they will be able to go about daily life as normal. 

  • All mask requirements will be removed, except for visitors in certain healthcare settings including primary care, urgent care, hospitals, aged residential care, disability-related residential care and pharmacies but not in counselling, mental health and addiction services.  

  • Some places, such as workplaces, special events, or marae may ask people to wear a mask as a condition of entry. This will be at their discretion and no longer a Government requirement. People are encouraged to respect those who continue to keep wearing masks for the protection they offer against COVID-19. 

  • All remaining Government vaccine mandates will end. The last workforce with a Government vaccine mandate is health and disability workers. This will end on 11:59pm, 26 September 2022. Some employers may still require workers to be vaccinated due to their responsibilities under health and safety legislation. 
     

  • Vaccination and testing requirements for all travellers arriving into New Zealand will also end, including air crew, from 11:59pm, 12 September. People arriving in New Zealand from overseas will continue to receive free RATs at the airport and will be encouraged to test on day 0/1 and 5/6.  

  • Anti-viral medicines will be available for free to any New Zealander 65 and over who tests positive for COVID-19. For Māori and Pacific peoples, these medicines will be available for free to anyone aged 50 and over. In addition, anyone with three high-risk conditions is eligible for free anti-viral medicines.  

  • 40,000 additional courses of anti-viral medicines have been purchased by the Government and they are expected to enter New Zealand in the coming weeks.