Big changes were made to the Covid-19 rules last Wednesday, from the end of QR codes and vaccine passes to outdoor gathering limits being waved goodbye as soon as this week. But how will this affect students? Critic Te Arohi decided to dive into the new rules to find out.
At a press conference last Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern effectively dismantled most of the restrictions set up over the last two years. As of midnight last Friday, QR codes and record-keeping are no longer mandatory, meaning the beautiful pandemic tradition of struggling to focus a blurry-arse camera at the entrance to the supermarket will come to an end as well.
Limits on the number of people at indoor gatherings and events are increased to 200 people, with no limit on how many people can be at outdoor gatherings. However, this only applies if everyone at the event has a My Vaccine Pass - without vaccine passes, the numbers stay the same (25 people indoors or out). One rule that will still remain, though: if you’re indoors, you’ll need to mask up.
So yes, in case you were asking, this means you can run big flat parties again, as long as everyone is vaccinated. But vaccine passes will only be a thing until midnight 4 April (next Monday), so after that date your unvaccinated friends will be welcome too.
The new limits also mean that pubs, clubs and restaurants can begin operating at full capacity once again, with vaccine passes only required until next Monday. The Zoo is also back in full swing, with the Highlanders’ match against the Blues expected to be one of the first events post-Omicron that will go ahead with a full crowd.
To sum up: flat parties, heading to town and to the rugby - it’s all back. And after a grim start to the year, filled with event cancellations, Zoom lectures and Covid tearing through our pitiful attempts to party through the pain, this is probably the best thing we could hope for right now.