NZ moves to phase 2 of Omicron response from today

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NZ moves to phase 2 of Omicron response from today

 NZ moves to phase 2 of Omicron response from today
Image source: Andrii Vodolazhskyi, Shutterstock.com

Highlights

  • NZ moves to phase 2 of Omicron strategy
  • Isolation period for positive cases reduced from 14 days to 10 days

New Zealand reported a record number of 981 cases on Monday. Inspite of that, It is going ahead with phase two of its strategy with regard to Omicron spread.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that the increase in COVID-19 cases was on expected lines and New Zealand would stay in phase 2 as long as the daily cases remained between 1000 and 5000.

Image Source: © 2022 Kalkine Media

What does phase 2 mean for Kiwis

The Prime Minister said that in phase 2 everyone should develop a self-isolation plan. However, in this phase the isolation period for positive cases will be shortened from 14 days to 10 days. The isolation period for close contacts would now be 7 days from earlier 10 days.

This phase will also see far more use of Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) with critical workers able to come to work if they return a daily RAT report

People will not be in isolation for extended periods of time unless they actually test positive for Covid-19, in this phase.

Also Read: COVID-19- What is NZ government’s contact exemption scheme?

PM Ardern’s take on it

The Prime Minster pointed out that the increase in cases was expected but would still be disruptive to many. She said that the shortened isolation period was needed to ensure the disruption to supply chains was minimised.

Also Read: New Zealand announces plans for phased border opening

She also said that the Kiwis would see more COVID in the community. It is a period of disruption and there is a lot of risk, she said. Therefore, she cautioned that this could not replace safe operating practices as if a large number of workforce contracted COVID-19 that would have a strong impact.

She said about 5600 businesses had identified themselves as having critical workforces and needing access to the test-to-work scheme.

Bottom Line: Despite surge in Omicron cases, the government is going ahead with phase 2 of its Omicron response to minimize supply chain disruptions.

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