COVID Protection Framework - Traffic Light System Explained

November 30, 2021

From 11.59pm, Thursday 2 December 2021 New Zealand will move to the new traffic light system.

Click here to learn more about the new COVID Protection Framework

The following areas will move to Red:

  • Northland
  • Auckland
  • Taupō and Rotorua Lakes Districts
  • Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki Districts
  • Gisborne District
  • Wairoa District
  • Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu Districts

At Red, life will feel a lot like Alert Level 2 if you have a My Vaccine Pass. Your vaccine pass will allow you to enter places like cafes, restaurants, gyms and hairdressers, but number limits of 100 will apply to most activities. Children under 12 are not required to show a vaccine pass. Schools and early learning centres can open, with public health measures in place.

Learn more about Red

  • The rest of the North Island will move to Orange
  • The whole of the South Island will move to Orange.

At Orange, there are no gathering limits in places where everyone is vaccinated. Retail and public facilities are open, with capacity limits based on 1 metre physical distancing.

Learn more about Orange

At all settings you can catch up once again in each other’s homes. If there are people without a vaccine pass at your home, then there is a limit of 25 at Red and 50 at Orange. Businesses not using My Vaccine Pass have a limit of 25 people at Red, and 50 people at Orange.

Learn more about the CPF and how it pertains to you and your business

Cabinet will review these settings and will provide an update on Monday 13 December. The next update by Ministers will be in the week of Monday 17 January, and will continue on a fortnightly basis from then on.


  • Take your mask wherever you go, and be ready to wear it.
  • Scan in using the NZ COVID Tracer app wherever you go.
  • Have your vaccine pass ready to show at places that require it. Visit to get yours now.