Could we be headed for more lockdowns over the new omicron variant? We need to follow the signs.
COVID-19: Omicron outbreak could force New Zealand out of traffic light system and into alert levels again
Cars, caravans and thousands of cooped-up Aucklanders have been setting off for a Christmas break.
It’s the summer down-under we hoped for – but in the Northern Hemisphere, the situation is worse than ever. Even those charged with caring for COVID patients are getting sick.
Cases in the UK are doubling every few days and a winter nightmare looms as officials consider a Christmas lockdown.
Across Europe, countries are swinging into action as Omicron spreads. France and Germany are tightening their borders and the streets of Amsterdam are virtually empty as it begins a four-week lockdown.
New South Wales recorded 2500 new cases on Monday. Despite much lower numbers in hospital, one immunologist says the state isn’t ready to cope.
“Sydney is sleepwalking into a catastrophic disaster in January,” he says.
Back home in New Zealand, there were 69 new community cases on Monday plus nine new Omicron cases in MIQ.
Cabinet has spent the day deciding on a change to booster shots in preparation for the new variant.
Currently, they’re administered six months after the second jab, however one expert suggests moving it to five months.
“The thing about going too early is the vaccine booster effect doesn’t work as well as when it’s at five months or six months and one has to weigh that up,” immunology professor and Malaghan Institute director Graham Le Gros says.
“It’s better to have more people immunised and we have that when it’s five to six months.”
Some believe bigger changes to our COVID response are coming. Auckland University COVID modeller Dr Dion O’Neale says the traffic light system wasn’t created with Omicron in mind.
“We wouldn’t expect orange or even red to limit the spread of Omicron,” he says.
“To be honest it’s probably going to be going back to something like the alert level interventions.”
News no one wants to hear as we wind down on a year of upheaval.
Billy te Kahika has just done a livestream discussing this
URGENT INFO PLEASE
A Re-share of a quick summary of the C-19 Public Health Response Act.
As I warned If you thought we were in for a nice summer holiday – think again.
The COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 passed its 2nd reading Wednesday night in NZ. (it was passed early in the morning)
ZERO rights for an unvaccinated person. Read this again!!
This legislation will allow for:
1. The lockdown of unvaccinated or insufficiently vaccinated individuals.
2. The ability to restrict travel within the country to unvaccinated or insufficiently vaccinated (e.g. a person who does not want to get a booster shot).
3. Withhold certification from those who do not get required boosters or subsequent combinations of vaccines as may be ordered at any time.
4. The ability to dictate the type and form of certification required for proof of vaccination status — digital or otherwise.
5. The ability to dictate what other information may be required for the renewal of vaccine certificates, and which information may be contained on such a certificate.
6. The period for which a vaccine certificate is valid can be changed at any time, and who it is that may be entitled or eligible to have these certificates.
7. The specification of mandates for entire job sectors.
8. The ordering of certain jobs to require regular mandatory testing and medical examination.
9. Enforcement officers to be able to demand certification, pretty much at any time.
10. The appointment of enforcement officers that can be anybody they wish to appoint, and not necessarily police.
11. Enforcement officers to inspect and take copies of certification to be verified at a later date, before immediately returning such documentation.
12. The provision of an assessment tool for employers to use to determine who should be vaccine mandated, however employers can totally disregard the assessment tool and mandate at whim.
13. Legal or other representatives of employees may be refused entry to workplaces.
14. Contact tracing information may be used against a person in order to enforce the Act.
15. Employees who have been dismissed for non-compliance of testing or vaccination, but comply at the last minute, may still be dismissed if the employer deems revoking the dismissal to be disruptive of their business.