Government Overhauls COVID Powers

Scrapping worker vaccine mandates and its capacity to enforce gathering limits and lockdowns, the Government is significantly overhauling its Covid powers. The 7-day isolation period for Covid-19 cases and mask-wearing requirements for visitors in certain healthcare settings will remain – for the time being.

Acting Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins described the changes as a significant milestone.

“What were once justified and served our country well should now be removed. With these changes, the legal framework matches the risk.”

The powers that will be scrapped include lockdowns, MIQ, worker vaccine mandates, gathering limits, the vaccine pass, QR code display, entry requirements at the border, traveller vaccine requirements and testing for people in self-isolation.

Hipkins said the Government planned to remove the most restrictive powers “that are no longer required” by the end of 2022, while still ensuring “we can practically manage the ongoing impact of Covid-19”.

The next review of Covid measures will take place at the end of November.