New Zealand says it won’t impose lockdowns when Omicron spreads


New Zealand won’t resort to using lockdowns when there is an Omicron variant outbreak, its Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

Lockdowns were implemented when the Delta variant spread in New Zealand.

Jacinda Ardern said an outbreak of the Omicron variant was inevitable and she said the nation would tighten restrictions as soon as a case was detected.

“This stage of the pandemic is different to what we have dealt with before. Omicron is more transmissible,” Ardern said.

Ardern lifted the lid on her plan to tackle Omicron.

Within 24 to 48 hours of a case being detected, the nation would move to its “red” setting, she explained.

Businesses and domestic travel could continue under the “red” setting but there would be some restrictions.

Restrictions would include schoolchildren having to wear masks masks and crowds being limited to 100 people.

Most of New Zealand is in an “orange” setting at the moment which requires some mask wearing and proof of vaccination.

However, under an “orange setting, crowd sizes are not limited within the restrictions.