Auckland borders open on December 15

By Te Ao - Māori News

Police will run spot checks to make sure departing Aucklandeers have vaccination certificates

Auckland’s borders will open up on December 15 until January 17, the Prime Minister announced today.

Auckland has been closed off from the rest of the country because of a Delta outbreak, which is continuing. Today there were 180 new cases in Auckland and 14 cases elsewhere.

PM Jacinda Ardern said people could leave Auckland from December 15 if they can prove they have had both vaccinations or a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours. People coming to Auckland would need to show their vaccination certificates or get a negative test before they could leave.

Police would use “operational discretion” to check that travellers had the vaccination certificates or test results. This would include spot checks. New rules allowed a fine of $1000 for people who did not have the certificates or results.

Get vaccinated

Asked if there would be a rush to get negative tests before Christmas, Ardern said this only affected those who were leaving.”Our hope is they will choose to vaccinate rather than have to have negative tests.”

Checks would also be made at check-in at Auckland Airport. Air New Zealand had already required proof of vaccinations for domestic travel.

The inter-island ferries would also require vaccination certificates and negative tests.

She said the cabinet would consider Auckland’s move into the new “traffic light” Covid system on November 29. If it confirmed that, Auckland and the rest of the country would move into the system. Auckland would be at red to protect people and promote vaccinations. Other areas could be moved to orange or green depending on risk.

Summer travel

“Aucklanders can now book summer travel and accommodation with confidence and businesses in and around Auckland and the rest of the country can plan for summer travels."

She said 60,000 people had downloaded their vaccination certificates at My Covid Record website since it opened this morning.

Ardern said the cabinet wanted to make steady progress so it did not have to face what had happened abroad where countries had had to move backwards and reimpose restrictions.

The ministry was working with Māori health providers to increase Māori vaccinations, she said.