COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says the Government is keeping the Orange setting in place with "a likelihood of a secondary wave of cases appearing."
The traffic light settings will next be reviewed in late June.
Here's the statement from Hipkins.
New Zealand to stay at Orange for now
With New Zealand expecting to see Omicron cases rise during the winter, the Orange setting remains appropriate for managing this stage of the outbreak, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today.
“While daily cases numbers have flattened nationally, they are again beginning to increase in the Northern region and hospitalisation rates have also increased slightly over the past month. In addition, our latest COVID-19 modelling indicates that under current conditions, there is a likelihood of a secondary wave of cases appearing,” Chris Hipkins said.
“The COVID-19 Protection Framework has effectively managed the Omicron outbreak at Orange. By following public health advice to remain at that setting, we can maintain some protections while ensuring businesses can continue to operate.
“I urge everyone to continue to be cautious and think about the health of others, especially those who are immunocompromised or at higher risk of long-term health impacts from infection. Please also get boosted, if you haven’t already.
“Self-isolation, vaccination and mask wearing continue to be our main defences against COVID-19. People will continue to be required to wear a face mask in many indoor settings.
“It is encouraging to see case numbers remain steady, but there are other factors at play that tell us to remain cautious and not yet move to Green. These include the arrival of new strains of colds and flus, which will add to the workloads of our already busy hospitals.
“The next review of the traffic light settings will be in late June,” Chris Hipkins said.
Traffic light system