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A new way of managing Covid

Opinion Piece

This week, we're taking the next step in our plan to safely reopen and transitioning to the new Covid-19 Protection Framework. Here in the East Coast, we're moving to the Red setting, which will mean a few changes for our communities, businesses and whanau as we shift to a new way of managing Covid-19 and keeping each other safe.

For almost two years, we've relied on the alert levels and our elimination strategy to protect lives and livelihoods and prevent our health system from being overwhelmed. This approach has served us well — we're entering this new phase better placed than many other countries, with fewer hospitalisations and deaths, a strong economy, and one of the highest vaccination rates in the world.

However, we've seen overseas that Delta has changed the game. Many countries that recently removed restrictions are now putting them back in place as they face fourth and fifth waves. Other new variants are an added reminder of why our careful and considered approach is so important. With Delta here, it's time to change our game plan so we can safely reopen.

The vaccine is a really important part of this plan. To ensure we can protect everyone in our communities, including those who can't be vaccinated, like young children, we need as many people as possible to be fully vaccinated. This reduces the risk of Covid spreading throughout our region, and protects the people who are most vulnerable, as well as our hospitals and other health facilities.

We've made a really good effort here in Tairawhiti, with more than 73 percent of people now fully vaccinated, but we still need to be cautious. This is why we're moving initially into the Red setting, which will provide extra protections until we can lift our vaccination rates. My Vaccine Pass, your official proof of vaccination, will play a key role in these protections.

If you are fully vaccinated, the vaccine pass will enable you to do more of what you enjoy, whether that's meeting friends for coffee, hitting the gym, or heading along to events. There will still be a few restrictions, like a limit on how many people can enter venues at one time, but you'll be able to get on with all the good things our community has to offer this summer.

If you're not fully vaccinated or you haven't got around to getting your vaccine pass yet, there will be everyday things you miss out on. To ensure you can do the things you enjoy and to help protect the people you love from Covid, you'll need to get your two doses of the vaccine, and you'll need to have your vaccine pass.

If you're fully vaccinated, you can request your pass now by visiting mycovidrecord.nz or by calling 0800 222 478. If you'd like a hand downloading or printing your pass, or if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch and our team will be more than happy to help.

The past couple of years have been challenging, but together, we've worked hard to keep our communities here on the East Coast safe.

Thank you for everything you've done to help us protect each other. Now, thanks to these efforts, we can take the next step in our plan to carefully reopen and look ahead to new opportunities.

Kiri Allan

  1. Peter Jones says:

    I see you are turning youth prisons into covid jails.
    Well done Labour. LOL.
    No unvaxxed left behind.

    1. Owen says:

      Was this meant to be,
      a Haiku from you Peter?
      Sadly you messed up.

      1. Peter Jones says:

        My jabs are not government approved Owen.
        You don’t get to see what I really think.

        1. Owen says:

          The Covid jab is government approved. You should definitely get one of those.

          If you mean your jab comments, I guess we will never get to see your comment on this article where you asked the writer to stick the vaccine pass somewhere quite unwholesome. And the world is a better place for that.