Coronavirus: Northland to move to orange tonight, NZ to move to red once Omicron spreads in the community

Publish Date
Thursday, 20 January 2022, 1:16PM

The Prime Minister has announced Northland will move to orange at 11.59pm tonight.

The rest of New Zealand will remain at orange, rather than shift to the green setting, while the country waits for Omicron to hit the community.

Jacinda Ardern says the whole country will be put into the red traffic light setting within 24-48 hours once Omicron spreads in the community not connected to the border.

The announcement comes as there are fears that Omicron has spread to Palmerston North and a fourth suspected case in Auckland – another household contact of infected MIQ worker.

This Palmerston North case was in a MIQ facility in Christchurch and tested negative on day 9, before being released on 16 January, after returning a negative test result on five occasions throughout their stay.

The case became symptomatic yesterday and got tested. They returned a positive Covid-19 test result yesterday evening. Urgent whole-genome sequencing is underway.

Today, two further Auckland people are confirmed to have the Omicron variant and various high-risk premises have been added to the locations of interest.

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An Auckland airport worker and a household contact of the MIQ worker with Omicron both tested positive for Covid-19 yesterday. Genome testing confirmed they have the Omicron variant.

The pair had both tested positive yesterday.

One of the infected people was out in the community on Tuesday (18 January) this week.

The case visited Ara-Tai Cafe in Auckland's Half Moon Bay between 12.30pm and 2pm.

Customers seated inside during this time period are considered close contacts.

For more information visit covid19.govt.nz.