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Ninety percent double-jabbed or Tairawhiti to stay put under current restrictions

Tairāwhiti will remain in Delta Level 2 restrictions until all New Zealand district health board areas are 90 percent double-jabbed.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern this morning revealed the vaccination target would act as a trigger for a new traffic light Covid-19 alert system.

It will mean a significant uptake is needed in Tairāwhiti, which, as of October 20, had a double dose vaccination percentage of just 59 percent while the nationwide percentage was 68 percent.

“The new Covid-19 Protection Framework sets a pathway forward that rewards the rapidly growing number of vaccinated New Zealanders with more freedoms to go about their lives safely,” Ms Ardern said.

“The new traffic light framework will allow businesses previously considered high-risk to fully open to vaccinated customers at green and orange and continue to operate with some restrictions at red.

“Businesses that choose to open to the unvaccinated will face restrictions in order to suppress the virus amongst those most likely to have it.

“If you are still unvaccinated, not only will you be more at risk of catching Covid-19 but many of the freedoms others enjoy will be out of reach. No one wants that to happen but we need to minimise the threat of the virus, which is now mainly spreading amongst unvaccinated people.

“These new requirements are a strong incentive for those who still haven't had their first dose to do so quickly. The choice is clear for anyone who wants to go to a bar, restaurant, gym or to attend gatherings.

A target of 90 percent fully vaccinated across each DHB region has been set as the milestone to trigger moving the country into the new system. This target ensures good regional spread across the country and will also help address equity issues within each region.

“Auckland will be able to move sooner. This plan provides a clear path for Auckland to move out of lockdown as soon as 90 percent fully vaccinated is reached in each of the city's three DHBs.”

Once all DHB reach the vaccination target, all New Zealand would move to Orange.

Orange means no limits if vaccine certificates are used for hospitality, gatherings and events.

Green will also have limits if no vaccine certificates are used for hospitality, gatherings and events.

Red will be used when Covid is spreading within the community, meaning there will be some restrictions, even with vaccine passports.

The Government also announced today that Tairāwhiti would be a focus area for a new $120m fund to support Maori communities to fast-track vaccination efforts and prepare for the new Covid-19 Protection Framework.

“If you want to protect yourself, your whānau and your community from this deadly virus, high vaccination rates is the only way you can do this in order to protect our whanau,” Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare said.

“$60 million will go towards further supporting our Maori vaccination rates and a further $60 million will support Maori and iwi-led initiatives to protect our communities against Covid-19.

“Our kuia, kaumatua are leading the way and now we need the rest of the whanau to do the same.

To date, 67 percent (384,711) of the eligible Maori population have had at least one dose, Of those, 46 percent (265,424) are now fully vaccinated.

“Koinei te wā. The time is now.”

GET VACCINATED TAIRAWHITI: The time is now. File picture