Mother and adult daughter standing strong
September 2022

Aotearoa moves on from COVID-19 traffic lights

Whānau across the motu are waking up today to a lifting of many of the COVID-19 restrictions we have lived with for the past two and a half years.

The changes reflect the collective mahi that whānau have made to keep each other safe through the pandemic.

We know that it isn’t over yet. COVID-19 is still in our communities, and many of our whānau are still vulnerable, including our kaumātua, māuiui and immunocompromised.

That’s why it’s important to remember Māori communities have mana motuhake to put in place our own protections, such as requiring manuhiri at marae to mask up or lifting our hygiene and sanitisation game at social events.

Also, we can take extra steps to make sure vulnerable whānau are safe, such as wearing a mask, getting tested and staying away if we feel ill.

Karawhiua has put together a factsheet for whānau who want to know more about the new tikanga. You can download the Staying safe with the new COVID-19 changes factsheet from our Resources page.


COVID-19 changes

  • You need to stay at home for seven days if you get COVID-19.
  • People who live at your whare no longer have to stay at home if you get COVID-19. But they should take a RAT test every day for five days from when you tested positive. If they test positive, they will have to isolate.
  • You don’t have to wear masks anymore, except in some health care places like the doctor, pharmacies or hospitals and aged residential care centres.
  • Māori and Pacific people aged 50+ can get free COVID-19 antiviral medicine if they test positive.
  • Other New Zealanders aged 65+ can also get free COVID-19 antiviral medicine, as can some people with three or more high-risk conditions.
  • People coming into Aotearoa from overseas don’t have to be vaccinated anymore.
  • All government vaccine mandates will end on 27 September 2022. But some employers might require workers to be vaccinated. 

You can read more about the changes on our Questions and answers page.

Questions and answers