August 15, 2023
Covid restrictions lifted
Health Minister Ayesha Verrall says the Government has accepted advice from officials that remaining COVID-19 public health measures are no longer required.
That means from today the recommended seven day isolation period is no longer mandatory, and face masks are now optional for visitors to health care facilities.
Dr Verrall says the risk from COVID-19 is now low compared to other stages of the pandemic, and public health systems have been strengthened.
“We are slowly building out the vaccination registers. Our contact tracing system remains backed up by really strong technology, and indeed the whole genome system has been strengthened. Hospital emergency departments have multiple negative pressure rooms where they can treat Covid and other infectious diseases,” she says.
While case numbers will continue to fluctuate, there have not been the dramatic peaks that characterised COVID-19 rates last year, and New Zealand is probably past the winter influenza peak.
RATS tests remain free from selected outlets and while not mandated, Ministry of Health guidance is to stay at home for five days if you’re unwell or have tested positive for COVID-19.
COVID-19 accounted for 2.2 percent of hospital admissions at the beginning of the week.