As it happened: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Tuesday, November 23

New Zealand will move to the COVID-19 Protection Framework next week, with December 3 officially marking 'Freedom Day' for Aucklanders after three months of restrictions. 

During a press conference on Monday, the Government announced that hairdressers will be able to open in Auckland from Thursday, November 25 in order to test the new 'My Vaccine Pass' system. Vaccine certificates will play a crucial role in the new framework, rewarding the fully vaccinated with a return to relatively normal life.

Meanwhile, 215 new cases of COVID-19 have been recorded on Monday, as well as one additional death - a patient in their 50s.

What you need to know

  • There are 215 new cases of COVID-19 to report on Tuesday - 196 in Auckland, 11 in Waikato, four in Northland, one in Bay of Plenty, two in Lakes and one in MidCentral - this case was first reported on Monday.
  • A patient in their 50s has died at Auckland City Hospital.
  • Eighty-eight people are in hospital, six of whom are in intensive care or high dependency units.
  • Auckland's border will open on December 15, allowing fully vaccinated Kiwis to travel to and from the region - people can also present a negative test received within 72 hours prior to departure.
  • All of New Zealand will move to the traffic light system on December 2 at 11:59pm.
  • Hairdressers will be able to open in Auckland from November 25.
  • Workers covered by the My Vaccine Pass mandate - staff working at businesses that are required to use vaccine certificates to operate - must have their first jab by Dec 3 and be fully vaccinated by Jan 17.
  • A vaccination assessment tool will be available by mid-December to help employers decide if they would require vaccination for different types of work.
  • The Government has launched its official My Vaccine Pass verification technology, the NZ Pass Verifier.
  • Vaccine certificates are now available to download via My COVID Record.
  • Keep up-to-date with the latest locations of interest here.

These live updates have finished.

7:30pm - ACT leader David Seymour says today's "rushed" vaccine mandate legislation shows the Government is out of touch with businesses, and the party can't support the legislation with major explanation and change.

"There are some parts of this Bill to be commended. Businesses need a tool to evaluate COVID risks. This Bill also clarifies conflicts between health and safety and privacy laws," Seymour says.

"It also leaves open the opportunity for regular testing as an alternative to mandatory vaccination, in workplace settings at least, something ACT has been calling for."

But he says they have concerns too.

"The first vaccines were issued in February. The Government has had nine months to prepare. Now it's giving employers 10 days to keep records, do health and safety assessments and put health and safety processes in place," Seymour says.

"It may be much worse. The 10 day timeline is if the Government has regulations ready to go as soon as this law passes. This law doesn't clarify anything matters, it just lets the Minister make regulations that might.

"This Government has no clue about the practicality businesses face, and probably doesn't understand how unworkable much of this law is."

He says ACT will support the Bill at the first reading and then push the Government to make changes.

"We recognise that businesses do need clarity, and they need political parties to be constructive right now. We'd like to make this Bill more workable for business. If those changes aren't agreed to, however, we will withdraw our support for later votes on the Bill."

David Seymour.
David Seymour. Photo credit: Newshub.

6:35pm - DHBs have released updated information about staff who can't continue working because they're unvaccinated.

As at 9am on November 22, about 1.8 percent of all 20 DHBs' total workforce of around 80,000 has been stood down, resigned, or had their employment terminated as a result of the mandate. A total of 1028 people were stood down, 92 staff had resigned, and 341 had had their employment terminated.

Last week's stand-down figures of 1309 did not include some staff who had already resigned or had their employment terminated. The total number of staff stood down as of now has decreased over the past week due to some of those people resigning or having their employment terminated.

Lead DHB chief executive Rosemary Clements says that DHBs continue to work through the consultation process with those unvaccinated staff members who are stood down to answer any questions they might have, discuss other options such as redeployment, support them through the process, and encourage them to consider vaccination.

"If staff choose to be vaccinated while they are stood down, they will be able to return to their DHB."

In total, 52 doctors, 518 nurses, and 90 midwives have now either been stood down, resigned or had their employment terminated because they have declined to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Of those stood down, 51 staff are awaiting an AstraZeneca vaccination. Some staff will also be awaiting the outcome of applications for medical exemptions.

Clements says that DHBs have terminated the employment of staff where no other alternative or redeployment options can be found.

"This step has been taken when staff have confirmed that they will not be vaccinated. DHBs are complying fully with all employment law requirements and we have engaged and agreed with health sector unions on the processes we are following," she says.

"Service delivery impacts will vary between DHBs and mitigations are in place where needed to minimise any impact to services. These include careful staff rostering, and close monitoring of any areas where there may be some staff shortage. Our absolute focus is on ensuring continuity of patient care."

6:15pm - There are four new locations of interest. They are:

  • Paengaroa Country Store Te Puke, November 17 from 7:15am to 9am
  • Paengaroa Country Store Te Puke, November 18 from 7:15am to 9am
  • Far North Pharmacy Ltd Kaitaia, November 19 from 8:35am to 8:55am
  • Paengaroa Country Store Te Puke, November 20 from 7:15am to 9am.

6:05pm - Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki has again been granted bail, with a strict new condition that he does not attend the Auckland Domain.

Tamaki, 63, appeared in the Auckland District Court on Tuesday afternoon via audio-video link (AVL). Via his lawyer Ron Mansfield, Tamaki pleaded not guilty to a new charge of Failing to Comply with Order (COVID-19) under the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act. He also denied breaching his previous bail conditions. 

It comes after more than 1000 people turned out for an anti-vaccine mandate protest on Saturday at the Auckland Domain. Tamaki and his wife Hannah, 60, were present and spoke on stage to supporters. 

He was granted bail on the condition that he does not visit the Auckland Domain and does not organise, attend, support or speak at any protest gathering in breach of any current COVID-19 alert level requirements. He must also observe all and any requirements and should not use the internet to encourage non-compliance.

Read the full story here.

6pm - It's time for Newshub Live at 6pm for the latest on the COVID-19 outbreak. Watch online here or on Three.

5:50pm - Dr Jalal Mohammed, a senior lecturer in the Department of Public Health at Auckland University of Technology, says the upcoming traffic light system will be met with welcome and caution within Pacific communities.

"The Christmas period is a time for extended social gatherings within Pacific communities across the country. These gatherings will include multi-generational community members, including those under 12 who are exempt from the testing requirement," he says.

"However, with the Pasifika second dose rate remaining lower than the general population, caution will need to be exercised."

He says the "confusing messaging" around the traffic light system is a missed opportunity to engage with Pasifika communities around a time where social gatherings are expected to increase.

"I would like to see more engagement with Pasifika leaders, religious and community organisations to ensure messaging that is easily understood by the community to mitigate some of the risks of virus spread, particularly in regions where Pasifika vaccinations are low."

5:30pm - National's spokesperson for workplace relations Scott Simpson says the Government has opened a "potential employment relations minefield" by announcing requirements for workers in businesses where vaccine mandates apply to be fully vaccinated by January 17.

"Business will welcome the extra tool to validate the vaccine status of employees but the threat of employers still being entangled in personal grievance or constructive dismissal actions remains," Simpson says.

"People who have their jobs terminated because they are unvaccinated are highly likely to take legal recourse that will be both costly and time consuming for employers who just want to get on with doing business.

"National would give employers protection from such actions as long as either this new tool or a formal health and safety risk assessment has been conducted."

Simpson adds that it's "a pity" the Government has been slow in making this new tool.

"They've had more than a year to consider it and leaving its introduction to the eleventh hour and rushing legislation under urgency is poor policy process."

5pm - National's COVID-19 response spokesperson Chris Bishop says Chris Hipkins should immediately open the trans-Tasman bubble since no travellers from Australia have tested positive in MIQ since August 23.

Just three unvaccinated travellers tested positive in MIQ and no fully vaccinated traveller has tested positive, Bishop says.

"The risk of allowing fully vaccinated travellers with negative pre-departure tests for COVID to travel to New Zealand is basically zero. It just beggars belief that from December 15 Aucklanders will be able to travel around New Zealand while fully vaccinated people in Australia can't travel to New Zealand," Bishop says.

"The Government says it will take a 'progressive' and 'phased approach' to border re-openings. A good place to start would be to immediately open the trans-Tasman Bubble again. This would allow thousands of Kiwis to return home for Christmas.

"The Government needs to stop offensively referring to Kiwis abroad as 'cumulative risks' and 'striking matches in a forest'. As today's answer demonstrates, the risk of allowing fully vaccinated travellers to skip MIQ is extremely low."

Bishop adds that MIQ is "a lottery of human misery".

"Families around New Zealand will have empty seats at Christmas dinner this year unless the government acts now," he says.

"Australia is opening up. NSW, Victoria and the ACT have already opened quarantine-free travel to Kiwis with others on the way. We need to return the favour.

"The time for Fortress New Zealand is over. Let's open up and reunite families for Christmas."

4:35pm - National leader Judith Collins says the fact that Jacinda Ardern "can't answer basic questions" about the traffic light system is a "cause for major concern".

"When asked what the criteria were for moving from one traffic light colour to another, the Prime Minister was unable to say," Collins says.

"When asked why the South Island was being put into orange – despite having zero COVID cases – she refused to answer.

"When asked why Kiwis would be able to fly from Auckland to Wellington with just proof of vaccination but a Kiwi in Queensland would still need to get lucky in the managed isolation lottery and spend a full week in MIQ, she claimed it wouldn't be fair on New Zealanders stuck in other parts of the world. This, despite Auckland having more than 4600 cases in the community while the entire state of Queensland has a total of just four."

Also, Collins referred to Ardern saying earlier today that venues won't have to use the vaccine verifier app and can instead simply sight someone's pass, despite the Ministry of Health's website saying use of the app is required for entry.

"No wonder businesses are confused. These are all details that should have been decided and clearly spelled out months ago," Collins says.

"We went 18 months without a significant COVID outbreak. The vaccine rollout began more than nine months ago. Delta first arrived in MIQ some seven months ago. This current lockdown began more than three months ago.

"What the hell has the Government been doing all this time? It's a straight question New Zealanders are asking, but the Government can't provide a straight answer."

Judith Collins.
Judith Collins. Photo credit: Newshub.

4:10pm - There are eight new locations of interest. They are:

  • New World Te Kuiti, November 15 from 7:15pm to 7:50pm
  • Paengaroa Bakery & Lunch Bar Te Puke, November 17 from 7:15am to 9am
  • Riverside Lodge Te Kuiti, November 17 from 11:30am to 1:15pm
  • The Warehouse Te Kuiti, November 17 from 1pm to 2:15pm
  • Paengaroa Bakery & Lunch Bar Te Puke, November 18 from 7am to 9am
  • Pak'nSave Mill Street, November 18 from 11am to 11:35am
  • Riverside Lodge Te Kuiti, November 19 from 12:30pm to 2:30pm
  • Paengaroa Bakery & Lunch Bar Te Puke, November 20 from 7am to 9am.

4pm - Video has emerged of protesters outside Minister for Police Poto Williams' office in Christchurch.

The group was there as part of a #FreeTamaki movement, with some holding signs saying "freedom of rights" and "free to protest".

"What's really on trial here is the freedom of speech," a protester is heard saying into a microphone.

"This is a precursor to the battle of the hate speech law."

3:35pm - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is promising "extra support around compliance" for hairdressers ahead of their COVID-19 vaccine certificate trial in Auckland. 

Ardern on Monday announced that New Zealand will shift to the new 'traffic light' system on December 3, and from Thursday hairdressers can welcome vaccinated customers as a vaccine pass trial run. 

The trial will come just three days after COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced that the free NZ Pass Verifier app to scan and verify My Vaccine Passes is now available to download.

With hairdressers set to be the first businesses checking vaccine certificates, at a time when anti-vaxxers are threatening MPs and marching against mandates, Ardern said extra support will be available.

"We will be making sure that we've got extra support around compliance and extra advice, particularly as we all move into the new framework," Ardern told reporters on Tuesday. 

"Ultimately though, the decision around enforcement and compliance and how that's operationalised is made on the ground. But I know we'll want to make sure that our hairdressers feel safe at a time when they might particularly be inundated with those wanting their services."

Read the full story here.

3:10pm - National's health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says Health Minister Andrew Little needs to explain why some DHBs are counting ICU beds as resourced despite there not being enough ventilators for these beds.

"An ICU bed includes the ability to support breathing with a ventilator. But in at least three DHBs, Andrew Little is claiming 'resourced' ICU beds despite not enough ventilators for those beds," Dr Reti says.

"How can you have a 'resourced' ICU bed without a ventilator? Ventilators are especially important given COVID is a condition that mostly affects the lungs."

Dr Reti says South Canterbury, Tairāwhiti, and Whanganui DHBs all have more 'resourced' ICU beds than they have ventilators, and Whanganui reported a few days ago that it only had skilled nurses to operate three out of four ventilators.

"Last week, Andrew Little was hiding the real adult bed ICU numbers by mixing in paediatric beds. This week, he is pretending resourced ICU beds don't need a ventilator. He is wrong, and way out of his depth on the ICU beds issue," Dr Reti says.

"Andrew Little failed to prepare the health system by building more ICU beds after the first outbreak last year. This has contributed to long lockdowns and 100,000 cancelled procedures.

"The Minister needs to redo the ICU inventory with actual 'resourced' ICU beds with a ventilator and 5.3 nurses per bed. When he does, he will find the authors of a recent New Zealand Medical Journal article were correct in saying there are only 67 surge ICU beds, and not the hundreds he is claiming."

2:40pm - COVID-19 data modeller Professor Michael Plank is advising Kiwis with plans to travel this summer to think about precautionary measures they could take to minimise the chance of spreading COVID-19 elsewhere. 

"Everyone who is travelling this summer should think about taking some precautions to reduce the risk of catching the virus and spreading it to other parts of the country. This might include not visiting regions or communities with low vaccination rates," he suggested.

People might also want to avoid high-risk environments, such as busy indoor venues, for a few days before and after travelling.

"This applies especially to families travelling with under-12s this summer," he said.

"Under 12s - who currently account for around one in five cases - can't be vaccinated and are exempt from the testing requirement to travel out of Auckland. So families with young children have a higher risk of taking the virus with them when they go away on holiday."

2:30pm - University of Canterbury professor Michael Plank has weighed in on what the transition to the COVID-19 Protection Framework could mean for Aotearoa. 

Professor Plank, a COVID-19 data modeller for Te Pūnaha Matatini, says the transition will require "excellent" testing and contact tracing systems to ensure inevitable outbreaks are controlled.

"This should include regular saliva testing of key workers like teachers and healthcare workers. And better use of rapid antigen testing, for example, for close contacts of cases in schools or workplaces. In the UK, rapid antigen tests are widely available for free and this has made a big difference to keeping infectious people out of the community," Plank said on Tuesday.

As soon as Auckland's regional boundary is lifted on December 15, Plank warns it is also inevitable that the virus will continue to creep throughout New Zealand and crop up in previously untouched regions.

"We're already seeing cases popping up in different regions around the country. Once the Auckland border lifts, it's inevitable this will happen more frequently and in more places. People will need to be either fully vaccinated or have a negative test result to travel outside of Auckland. This will mitigate the risk but neither of these things guarantee that someone isn't infected," he said.

However, high rates of vaccination will help to stop transmission in its tracks, he says, with infections likely to "fizzle out" before the virus can find a foothold in the community.

"Thanks to the vaccine, it's possible a lot of cases will fizzle out before they have a chance to get established in the local community. With schools out and workplaces quiet, total case numbers may remain relatively stable over the summer period. However, communities with low vaccination rates will be vulnerable to rapid outbreaks that could overwhelm health services in remote rural areas," he warned. 

"Once schools and workplaces go back in the new year, the virus will be able to spread more easily and there is a danger that case numbers could take off with multiple outbreaks across the country."

2:20pm - Here's an update on vaccination rates in the Waikato region:

Territorial local  authority

1st doses

2nd doses

1st doses as a pct of eligible population

Fully vaccinated as a pct of eligible population

Hamilton City



93.0 pct

84.8 pct

Hauraki District



83.3 pct

74.1 pct

Matamata-Piako District



88.0 pct

79.4 pct

Ōtorohanga District



81.4 pct

71.1 pct

Ruapehu District



83.1 pct

71.6 pct

South Waikato District



84.9 pct

72.1 pct

Thames-Coromandel District



87.4 pct

79.7 pct

Waikato District



88.5 pct

79.4 pct

Waipa District



93.1 pct

86.0 pct

Waitomo District



91.5 pct

79.1 pct

Waikato region



90.1 pct

81.4 pct

Reporting on vaccination rates at TLA level is provided by the Ministry of Health. This data is accurate as of November 23, 2021 and is the latest available at TLA level.

Data at SA2 level (approximately equivalent to suburb) is available on the Ministry of Health website.

2:10pm - Here are the latest locations of interest as of 2pm:

  • Unichem Pharmacy, Whangarei
  • My Pharmacy, Te Puke
  • Unichem Pharmacy,Te Kuiti.

For the relevant dates, times and public health advice, click here.

2pm - With a bit of luck, Auckland might be able to pull off a 'New South Wales' and reopen without experiencing an uncontrolled spread of the Delta variant, experts say. 

But the timing of it - right before Christmas - could expose less-vaccinated parts of the country over the holiday break, seeding potential outbreaks that could explode when school resumes in February.

New Zealand's seven-day average has stabilised at just under 200 cases a day - mostly in Auckland, while New South Wales has pulled its average down from 1400 in mid-September to just over 200.

"There were these predictions that there would be a really rapid uptick in cases - instead what we've seen is a modest increase in cases that has basically levelled off," Chris Billington, a disease modelling expert at the University of Melbourne, told The Project. 

And something similar has happened in New Zealand, at least for now. While cases rose rapidly after the shift from alert level 4 to alert level 3, in the past week that growth has stalled. Dr Billington's calculations suggest the R number in New Zealand - the number of people each infected case will pass the virus onto - is at about 1.03, possibly below 1 already, meaning the outbreak has indeed stabilised or could be starting to wane.

Assuming we keep getting vaccinated at the current rate, his modelling shows the outbreak will fade away - dropping to 25 cases a day by March. But that assumes we won't be relaxing restrictions, which we will be on December 3 when the alert level system is dropped for the 'traffic light' COVID-19 Protection Framework.

Will Aucklanders seed a Christmas explosion of Delta across the country? Read the experts' predictions here.

1:45pm - The Ministry of Health is currently experiencing a very high volume of queries regarding My COVID Record and My Vaccine Pass.

If you can't get through to the helpline, 0800 222 478, immediately, please be patient and try again a bit later.

You can also email

You can also find information on My COVID Record, My Vaccine Pass, international travel vaccination certificates and how to access your vaccination records here.

1:30pm - Here's a breakdown of the key developments on Tuesday:

  • To date, 91 percent of eligible people in New Zealand have had their first dose of the vaccine and 84 percent are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • There are 88 people with COVID-19 in hospital, six of whom are in intensive care or high dependency units. 
  • There are 215 new cases to report on Tuesday - 196 in Auckland, 11 in Waikato, four in Northland, one in Bay of Plenty, two in Lakes, and one in MidCentral, which was first announced on Monday.
  • Of the 215 cases, 99 have yet to be epidemiologically linked.
  • A patient in their 50s has died at Auckland City Hospital.
  • Of the four new cases in Northland, one is in Whangārei and three are in Kaikohe - the former case was already isolating. All four have known links to existing cases. A patient has also been discharged from Whangārei Hospital.
  • Of the 11 new cases confirmed in the Waikato, six are from Huntly, three are from Kawhia, one is from Te Kūiti, and one is from Ōtorohanga. Five of the new cases have been linked and the remaining six are under investigation.
  • Following a reported visit by a COVID-positive person to a residence to a retirement village in Tauranga, one close contact has been identified and their initial test has come back as negative.
  • One of the two new cases in Lakes is currently receiving care in Rotorua Hospital.

1:18pm - Here is an update from the ministry on vaccination for immunocompromised patients:

Updated advice from the COVID-19 Vaccine Technical Advisory Group (CVTAG) on the third primary dose for immunocompromised patients has been published on the Ministry of Health website.

In October, a third primary dose of the Pfizer vaccine was recommended for individuals who are severely immunocompromised as they are at higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19, and might not produce a sufficiently strong immune response after two doses of the vaccine.

Updated CVTAG recommendations include information about the individuals who should be offered a third primary dose, with dialysis patients now eligible along with the groups already identified. Guidance on how to accommodate biologics and immunosuppressive therapies has also been added and dosage thresholds removed to support clinical discretion.

Advice for clinicians on the guidance is available through the Immunisation Advisory Centre, and this information will be updated periodically through the Immunisation Handbook.

A third primary dose for severely immunocompromised people is different from a booster. A third primary dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for severely immunocompromised people is off-label usage and includes prescription and consent obligations on the prescriber, the vaccinator, and the patient.

1:17pm - Here are the Ministry of Health's regional updates for Tuesday's cases:

Today's cases

Today we are announcing new community cases in Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Lakes. There are no additional cases to report today in Wellington, Wairarapa, Canterbury or MidCentral. All Taranaki cases have now recovered.

Information on the new cases is included in the regional updates below. Anyone living in these areas with symptoms, no matter how mild, is urged to get tested – even if they are vaccinated – and remain isolated until they return a negative result. A full list of testing centres can be found on the Healthpoint website.

Regional updates


There are four new cases to report in Northland today. One case in Whangārei was already isolating and there are three new cases in Kaikohe – all four cases have known links.

All active cases are being cared for in the community. A case that was in Whangārei Hospital has been discharged.

There were 1153 swabs taken across Northland on Monday and testing centres open today can be found on the Northland DHB website. Vaccination clinics open in Northland today can be found on the Northland DHB website.


Today, there are 196 new cases to report in Auckland.

There are 18 community centres available for testing across Auckland today. The testing centres at Northcote, Balmoral, Ōtara and Wiri continue to operate extended hours to increase access to testing.

Public health staff are now supporting 4371 people to isolate at home around Auckland - this includes 1441 cases.


There were 11 new cases confirmed in the Waikato overnight - six from Huntly, three from Kawhia, one from Te Kūiti, and one from Ōtorohanga.

Five of the new cases have been linked and the remaining six are under investigation.

Locations of interest were identified on Monday in Tokoroa, Huntly, and Putāruru.

There are seven pop-up and dedicated testing sites operating across Waikato today in Hamilton, Tokoroa, Putāruru, Ōtorohanga, Thames, and Te Kūiti

Across the Waikato, there were 1944 tests processed on Monday. In the Waikato region, public health staff are now supporting 143 cases to isolate at home.

Bay of Plenty

There is one new case to report in the Bay of Plenty today.

People in the Bay of Plenty are urged to get a test if they are symptomatic or have been advised to by a health professional.

There is good testing capacity across the region with dedicated community testing centres in Tauranga, Mount Maunganui, Whakatāne and Murupara.

Tauranga Retirement Village

Following a reported visit by a confirmed case to a residence in a Retirement Village in Tauranga, one close contact has been identified - their initial test result is negative.

This situation continues to be closely managed by the Public Health Unit.


There are two new cases in the Lakes District. One case is currently receiving care in Rotorua Hospital.

There is good testing capacity across the region with dedicated community testing centres in Taupō, and Rotorua. See for locations and opening times. Testing is also available at a number of medical centres and Hauora Māori.

1:16pm - A patient with COVID-19 has died at Auckland City Hospital, the Ministry of Health has announced.

"Sadly, today we are reporting the COVID-related death of a patient at Auckland City Hospital. The patient, who was in their 50s, was admitted to Auckland City Hospital on November 17.

"Our thoughts are with the patient's whānau and friends at this deeply sad time."

1:15pm - There are 215 new cases of COVID-19 to report today and one additional death - 88 people are in hospital. Here's the full statement from the Ministry of Health:

More than 15,000 vaccine doses administered yesterday; 88 in hospital & 6 in ICU; 1 death; 215 cases

There were 15,224 first and second vaccine doses administered yesterday, made up of 4,777 first doses and 10,447 second doses. To date, 91 percent of eligible people in New Zealand have had their first dose and 84 percent are fully vaccinated.

As of 10:30am, more than 1,470,000 million requests for a My Vaccine Pass had been processed.

COVID-19 vaccine update


Total first and second vaccines administered to date (percentage of eligible people)

7,366,916: 3,846,920 first doses (91 pct); 3,519,996 second doses (84 pct)

Total first and second vaccines administered yesterday

15,224: 4,777 first doses; 10,447 second doses

Māori (percentage of eligible people)

823,499: 454,188 first doses (*80 pct); 369,311 second doses (65 pct)

Pacific Peoples (percentage of eligible people)

483,932: 256,951 first doses (*90 pct); 226,981 second doses (79 pct)

Total first and second vaccines administered to Auckland residents yesterday

3,706: 966 first doses; 2,740 second doses

Vaccination rates by DHB (with active cases)


Northland DHB (percentage of eligible people)

First doses (84 pct); second doses (74 pct)

Auckland metro DHBs (percentage of eligible people)

First doses (96 pct); second doses (91 pct)

Waikato DHB (percentage of eligible people)

First doses (90 pct); second doses (81 pct)

Canterbury DHB (percentage of eligible people)

First doses (94 pct); second doses (85 pct)

Lakes DHB (percentage of eligible people)

First doses (86 pct); second doses (76 pct)

MidCentral DHB (percentage of eligible people)

First doses (91 pct); second doses (82 pct)

Bay of Plenty DHB (percentage of eligible people)

First doses (88 pct); second doses (78 pct)

Wairarapa DHB (percentage of eligible people)

First doses (91 pct); second doses (81 pct)

Hawkes Bay DHB (percentage of eligible people)

First doses (89 pct); second doses (80 pct)

Capital and Coast DHB (percentage of eligible people)

First doses (95 pct); second doses (88 pct)



Cases in hospital

88 (including 2 still being assessed): North Shore (19); Middlemore (29); Auckland (37); Waikato (2); Rotorua (1)

Vaccination status of current hospitalisations (Northern Region wards only as of 17 November)

Unvaccinated or not eligible (46 cases / 56 pct); partially vaccinated<14 days (10 cases / 12 pct) partially vaccinated >14 days (7 cases / 8  pct); fully vaccinated <14 days (1 cases / 1 pct) fully vaccinated >14 days (16 cases / 19 pct); unknown (3 cases / 4 pct)

Average age of current hospitalisations


Cases in ICU or HDU




Seven day rolling average of community cases


Number of new community cases


Number of new cases identified at the border

Three (and one historical)

Location of new community cases

Auckland (196), Waikato (11), Northland (4), Bay of Plenty (1) Lakes (2), **MidCentral (1 - announced yesterday)

Location of community cases (total)

Auckland 6,756 (2,281 of whom have recovered); ***Waikato 361 (106 of whom have recovered); Wellington 18 (17 of whom have recovered); Northland 70 (39 of whom have recovered); Nelson/Marlborough 1 (recovered); Canterbury 7 (3 of whom have recovered); Taranaki 6 (all of whom have recovered); Lakes 24; MidCentral 4; Bay of Plenty 18; Wairarapa 3

Number of community cases (total)

7,268 (in current community outbreak)

Confirmed cases (total)


Historical cases

198 out of 8,218 cases since 1 January

Cases infectious in the community****

65 of 178 cases reported yesterday have exposure events

Cases in isolation throughout the period they were infectious****

1 of 178 cases reported yesterday have no exposure events

Cases epidemiologically linked

116 of today's 215 new cases

Cases to be epidemiologically linked

99 of today's 215 new cases

Cases epidemiologically linked (total)

5525 (893 unlinked in the last 14 days)



Number of active contacts being managed (total):


Percentage who have received an outbound call from contact tracers (to confirm testing and isolation requirements)

69 pct

Percentage who have returned at least one result

70 pct

Locations of interest


Locations of interest (total)

153 (as at 10am 23 November)



Number of tests (total)


Number of tests total (last 24 hours)


Tests processed in Auckland (last 24 hours)


Tests rolling average (last 7 days)


Testing centres in Auckland




Wastewater detections

No unexpected results



Registered users (total)


Poster scans (total)


Manual diary entries (total)


Poster scans in 24 hours to midday yesterday


* Based on rounded up percentages.

** A community case reported yesterday in MidCentral is officially included in today's numbers.

*** A Waikato community case reported on November 19 has been reclassified as not a case. Also, a previously reported MIQ case has been reclassified as not a case.

**** The number of cases here may sometimes differ from the total reported the previous day due to a difference in reporting timeframes and reclassifications.

12:40pm - There is no press conference at 1pm today - the Ministry of Health will instead release a statement. Stay tuned in with our live coverage for the latest updates.

12:35pm - In case you missed it, National leader Judith Collins is demanding that the trans-Tasman bubble is reopened "now", arguing the Government to letting "fear" dictate their response to the virus.

"I think it's really clear we should be opening up the trans-Tasman bubble right now for people who are double vaccinated and who are free of COVID," Collins told reporters on Tuesday.

"Where is the risk? The risk at the moment is on this country being left behind and New Zealanders becoming less compliant as they become more confused about the logic behind the decisions.

"If the rules don't have logic attached to them, such as how can you possibly transmit COVID if you don't actually have COVID, that is something to me that starts to break down people's confidence in the system, and that's why it needs to be based on logic and fact and science - not on fear."

The trans-Tasman bubble, which allowed quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand, was popped in July after outbreaks swelled in New South Wales and Victoria. It was a traveller from Sydney who brought the Delta variant to New Zealand in August, sparking Auckland's months-long lockdown. 

Earlier on Tuesday, Collins issued a statement arguing that the two-way travel arrangement should be relaunched ahead of the festive season, allowing families to cross the ditch and reunite for Christmas. 

Read more here.

12:25pm - Vaccination against COVID-19 has now been mandated for about 40 percent of the workforce, but for businesses that aren't covered by a mandate, the Government is launching a new assessment tool for employers who are also considering making vaccination a requirement.

Here's what you need to know about the vaccine mandates, who they apply to, the deadlines, and the new tool for non-mandated businesses.

12:15pm - In case you missed it, Brian and Hannah Tamaki have been arrested in relation to a protest at Auckland Domain on Saturday.

According to Superintendent Shanan Gray, the relieving Auckland City District Commander, a 63-year-old and 60-year-old have been arrested after a "gathering was held on Saturday in breach of Auckland’s Alert level restrictions".

"A 63-year-old man has been charged with Failing to Comply with Order (COVID-19) under the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act and will also be appearing for breach of his bail conditions," Gray said.

"A 60-year-old woman has also been charged with two counts of Failing to Comply with Order (COVID-19)."

Brian, 63, and Hannah, 60, will appear before the Auckland District Court on Tuesday via video link. Police are not ruling out further arrests in relation to the arrest.

Earlier on Tuesday, more than 100 people gathered outside the Auckland Central police station in support of the Tamakis after the controversial couple were summoned there by authorities.

Read more here

12:10pm - There is one new and one updated location of interest as of 12pm - Paper Plus in Napier and Countdown in Regent, Whangarei. Click here for the details.

12:05pm - A man who travelled from Auckland to Hawke's Bay before testing positive for COVID-19 left the Super City on November 14 and arrived on the east coast later that day, Hawke's Bay District Health Board has confirmed following interviews with the positive case.

Hawke's Bay's Public Health Unit was advised of the case via a family member on Saturday, November 20.

The DHB's Public Health Unit has been working "constructively" and "with urgency" with the man to get a timeline of his movements, which is crucial to determining locations of interest and close contacts. 

"To date, all close contacts that have been identified are isolating and have returned negative tests," a spokesperson for the DHB said in an update on Tuesday.

"The DHB understands there is a high level of anxiety in the community, but would like to reassure people that there is a good level of engagement from close contacts."

The case remains in an isolation facility and is well-supported. 

11:56pm - Police have taken enforcement action against Brian and Hannah Tamaki after a gathering was held on Saturday in breach of Auckland's restrictions, Superintendent Shanan Gray, the relieving Auckland City District Commander, confirmed on Tuesday.

This morning, the two individuals were arrested in relation to the event held at Auckland Domain.

A 63-year-old man - Brian Tamaki - has been charged with Failing to Comply with Order (COVID-19) under the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act and will also be appearing for breach of his bail conditions. A 60-year-old woman - his wife, Hannah Tamaki - has also been charged with two counts of Failing to Comply with Order (COVID-19).

Both are due to appear before the Auckland District Court later on Tuesday via video link.

Police cannot rule out further arrests being made in relation to this event.

11:45am - Hawke's Bay District Health Board has clarified information regarding new locations of interest in the region after incorrect details were provided on Monday.

"The DHB apologises for this error and encourages anybody who has been at the following locations of interest to be tested for COVID-19," a spokesperson said on Tuesday morning.

The correct location of interest details are:

  • Big Barrel, Carlyle Street, Napier on November 15 between 6pm and 7pm

  • Paper Plus, Hastings Street, Napier South, on November 15 between 3:30pm and 4:30pm.

"We continue to urge anyone in Hawke's Bay with COVID-related symptoms - no matter how mild - to get tested, even if they are vaccinated," the spokesperson said.

People in Hawke's Bay are also reminded to continue abiding alert level 2 protocol, including wearing a face mask, adhering to physical distancing, and keeping track of movements via the COVID Tracer App or a manual diary.

COVID-19 testing and vaccination site locations are available at

Wastewater samples collected in Hawke's Bay have so far returned tested negative for COVID-19 after a person tested positive in the region. Further testing is underway, the spokesperson said.

11:35am - The Government is fending off calls from the Opposition to re-inflate the stagnant trans-Tasman bubble with Australia, with COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins saying it's "unlikely" the two-way air bridge will be relaunched this year.

Speaking to RNZ's Checkpoint, Hipkins did reveal that the Government is planning to announce changes to its managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) system in the next two weeks. Although the duration of the isolation period has recently been reduced, international travellers are still required to isolate at a facility for seven days on arrival in New Zealand. They then must continue to isolate at their home or place of accommodation.

Hipkins also confirmed there will be "a lot more movement" between Australia and New Zealand in the first quarter of 2022. He told Checkpoint the Government is awaiting public health advice and expects to make an announcement on the future of MIQ in the coming weeks. 

The removal of the restrictions at the border is "likely to be a progressive exercise", he said - a date for when the process will begin will be announced in due course.

Read more here.

11:25am - Here's a quick look at what the Government's official My Vaccine Pass verification technology looks like. The NZ Pass Verifier is now available to download.

As it happened: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Tuesday, November 23
Photo credit: Newshub

11:20am - Opposition leader Judith Collins is pleading with the Prime Minister to re-inflate the trans-Tasman travel bubble in time for Christmas.

The National Party has repeatedly called on the Government to put an end to managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) and allow fully vaccinated New Zealanders to return home, branding the system - which randomly allocates available rooms to desperate Kiwis via a 'virtual lobby' - a "lottery of human misery".

"National thinks the Government should end MIQ right now, allowing fully vaccinated travellers with negative pre-departure tests to enter New Zealand. From December 15, vaccinated Aucklanders will be able to travel around New Zealand, while fully vaccinated New Zealanders in Queensland - where there are currently only four active cases - will be unable to enter New Zealand to be with family for Christmas," Collins said on Tuesday.

"The Prime Minister seems firm on continuing her cruel and callous MIQ policy for everyone entering New Zealand; but one low-risk thing she could do to bring relief to thousands of people is open the long-dormant trans-Tasman Bubble for Christmas.

"There is no reason... as to why fully vaccinated travellers with negative tests couldn't enter New Zealand from Australia. Families around New Zealand will have empty seats at Christmas dinner this year unless the Government acts now.

"If we can let fully vaccinated Kiwis travel around New Zealand at Christmas time why can't we do this across the Tasman too?"

11:05am - Nineteen Pasifika festivals across New Zealand will receive funding through the Pasifika Festivals Initiative as the country prepares to enter the COVID-19 Protection Framwork, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced on Tuesday.

The successful recipients are part of the 'Tolu Wave' - the third funding round. The Pasifika Festivals Initiative announced in 2020 that it will provide $12 million over three years through a phased, 'four waves' approach to funding.

"Pasifika Festivals are the heart and soul of many communities across Aotearoa, traditionally bringing thousands of people together to appreciate and celebrate the wealth and vibrancy of our Pacific cultures,"  Sepuloni said. "This funding will help to future-proof these festivals and support them to ride the COVID wave and withstand the immediate and sustained impacts of the pandemic.

"Recognising the ongoing impact of COVID-19, the Government introduced the three-year Pasifika Festivals Initiative through Budget 2020 to preserve the economic, social and cultural fibres and benefits of these festivals."

'Tolu Wave' will provide $6.7 million, up to two years' funding for the successful recipients to hold Pasifika Festivals across Aotearoa in 2022 and 2023. Funding also includes support for capability building to strengthen festival organisations.

"Along with Auckland opening up to the rest of Aotearoa on December 15, there will be huge opportunities for us to get back to doing the things we love over the summer break and in 2022," Sepuloni said.

Click here for the full list of successful recipients for the Tolu Wave.

11am - With the number of COVID-positive people isolating at home in Auckland set to increase over the coming months, the Northern Region Health Coordination Centre (NRHCC) is reminding anyone in home isolation to seek help quickly if they need it.

In metro Auckland on Tuesday, the NRHCC is coordinating the support of 1441 cases of COVID-19 undertaking home isolation. 

"We acknowledge it can be difficult to make decisions about your health or the health of your whānau when isolating at home, especially during such a stressful and uncertain time," says NNRHCC lead and Counties Manukau Health CEO, Fepulea'I Margie Apa.

"We are urging anyone who is isolating at home to seek help without delay if they are concerned about their health."

Anyone isolating at home who has questions or is worried about their symptoms – even mild ones – should seek help from a health professional on the dedicated 0800 number provided to them, or call their GP. The dedicated 0800 phone number is available 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week and has clinical people available to help. The COVID-19 Healthline number 0800 358 5453 is also available for general advice.

Symptoms include:              

  • fever               
  • new or worsening cough              
  • sore throat              
  • shortness of breath              
  • sneezing and runny nose              
  • temporary loss of smell or altered sense of taste.       

"If you are isolating at home and it's an emergency, like chest pain or shortness of breath, call 111 immediately – ambulances are free for people with COVID-19," says Apa. "You do not need to wait for your tele-health check or to inform Healthline – we just want to make sure you get the help you need as soon as possible."

In the vast majority of cases, cases isolating at home in Auckland receive a home isolation information pack, including a pulse oximeter, within 24 hours of their referral to home isolation.

 "We acknowledge there have been a small number of delays in these packs being delivered including instances where the address is incorrect or the person is unable to be contacted," says Apa. "People need to provide the correct address where they are isolating, give us their current phone number and answer our calls so we can make sure the pack reaches the right people.

"We are reviewing our processes and procedures to identify how they can be improved to ensure pulse oximeters are received within 24 hours of referral to home isolation.

"Anyone who is experiencing delays in receiving their pulse oximeter should call Healthline or their GP."

10:40am - There is a collective push in the South Island to encourage greater uptake of the vaccine as businesses and the community look forward to moving to the new COVID-19 Protection Framework, Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Leeann Watson said on Tuesday.

The '90 percent for the South' campaign is aiming for 90 percent of South Island residents to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The campaign has the backing of the South Island District Health Boards and will involve local Chambers of Commerce, businesses and organisations.

Watson says she wants the South Island to move straight into the 'Orange' setting of the new three-tier framework, which consists of Red, Orange and Green levels of restrictions based on the risk COVID-19 poses to the community. To do that, she says the South Island needs to boost its vaccination rates.

"When moving into the new traffic light framework, vaccination rates for regions will play a part in determining which colour we move to. Our focus is on ensuring the South Island moves straight into Orange rather than Red and the race is on to get our vaccination rates as high as possible before next week's announcement," she said.

"Under the new framework, businesses will be able to operate at all levels, with various restrictions overlaid with public health orders, but we know from discussions with Government officials that the community does hold some sway as to whether we start that next phase at Orange or Red. To start at orange, we need to maintain momentum and get our double-vaccination rate up past the 90 percent mark.

"We implore all individuals to make getting double-vaccinated a priority, and all employers to continue their valued efforts to help promote and support employees to do so. This will ensure we can get our business community open and humming and making the most of an influx in visitors over summer."

Watson says the new South Island-wide campaign will build on the success of the regional Canterbury campaign, 90forCanterbury, last month.

"The 90forCanterbury campaign was hugely successful in raising awareness of the importance of receiving that first vaccination, and providing a collective focus for employers, and community groups to support their peers in getting vaccinated. It also helped to encourage conversations in the workplace and outside of the home as to people's reasons for getting vaccinated and potentially addressing any barriers to doing so."

10:32am - Speaking to reporters on Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was quick to condemn the actions of Brian Tamaki as "wrong".

Tamaki, the controversial leader of Destiny Church and the founder of the anti-lockdown group, the Freedoms and Rights Coalition, has been called to a police station in Auckland alongside his wife, Hannah Tamaki, after the pair attended an anti-lockdown protest over the weekend.

"Restrictions... are there to keep people safe and anyone who is operating outside of those obviously is not putting the best interests of their community at the centre of what they’re doing, and that's wrong," Ardern told reporters.

"It's not just the Government that is wronged when [breaches] happen - it's everyone in Auckland, everyone who's done the right thing, everyone who's worked really hard. It's not just about us."

10:25am - More than 100 people have gathered outside the Auckland Central police station in support of Brian and Hannah Tamaki.

The controversial pair were called to the police station after attending an anti-lockdown protest at Auckland Domain over the weekend. 

Live footage from the station shows the crowd listening to a speaker, some holding signs. The supporters applauded and chanted when the Tamakis arrived in their SUV.

Speaking before entering the station, Brian Tamaki -  the founder of Destiny Church and the Freedom and Rights Coalition - said he was "relaxed" as he was "basically innocent".

He said he abided by the restrictions at Saturday's protest by socially distancing and wearing his mask when not speaking. Brian said he never incited people to not follow the rules and instead encouraged people to keep to the requirements.

In a Facebook Live on Tuesday morning, Hannah Tamaki, the leader of the political party Vision NZ, thanked her followers for messages of support.

"We are on our way to Auckland Central police station, both Brian and myself. Don't know why they want me to go with him but anyway. We are both going. Don't know why we are both going," Hannah said.

"Apparently, our lawyer told us, they want us to come in to talk to us. Obviously, we are going to be spoken to this morning."

Read more here.

10:15am - Duncan Garner has dubbed New Zealand's home isolation system a "multi-agency trainwreck", saying he's received little assistance while he and his friend are "fighting for their lives". 

The former host of The AM Show, who revealed he tested positive for COVID-19 last week, said he had not seen "a doctor, nurse or a health professional the entire time" he has been sick, which is nearly two weeks. 

In a column for NBR headlined, 'We've spent billions to die at home - whose plan was this?', Garner claimed he is isolating at his home with a friend who health officials have confused him for during telephone check-ins. He said that friend called 111 to ask for an ambulance at one stage, but was told to take Panadol instead. 

"It's a bumbling mess that gives me no confidence," Garner wrote of the system. "I can't believe it's come to this." 

The 47-year-old said he and his companion were still waiting for a food package to arrive to his Auckland address a week after having requested it. 

"We now use the food request to keep ourselves upbeat and can't help but laugh at this multi-agency trainwreck complete with available interpreters that can't do the most basic thing, such as deliver a box of food to two blokes who otherwise are fighting for their lives." 

Read more here.

10:10am - There is one new location of interest as of 10am - Paper Plus in Napier. For the relevant date, times and public health advice, click here.

10am - Auckland's Waitemata District Health Board is seeking 133 extra staff - including 21 intensive care nurses - to help it cope with COVID-19 next year.

The roles are newly created and are on top of the long list of current vacancies, giving an idea of the scale of extra staffing likely needed in hospitals around the country as New Zealand learns to live alongside the virus.

Forty-two of the new roles are for nurses, half of whom would work in the DHB's intensive care units (ICU).

College of Critical Care Nurses chairperson,Tania Mitchell, said 21 ICU nurses would be difficult to recruit as there is already a nationwide shortage.

Read more here.

9:50am - To recap, hairdressers are able to reopen in Auckland on Thursday, November 25 after more than three months of closed doors.

The Government has decided to let salons open ahead of the transition to the COVID-19 Protection Framework  in order to trial out the new My Vaccine Pass system.

However, some hairdressers say they would have appreciated some warning.

Read more here.

9:37am - A free app to scan and verify My Vaccine Passes is now available to download, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced on Tuesday.

The app, the NZ Pass Verifier, will be used by businesses to verify customers' vaccine passes prior to entry when New Zealand transitions to the COVID-19 Protection Framework on December 3.

"The release of the NZ Pass Verifier app is another step for businesses and organisations to prepare for this next phase in our COVID-19 response," Hipkins said.

"The app helps give business certainty that they can quickly manage vaccine certificates and make sure they can easily check that their customers are all fully vaccinated."

The NZ Pass Verifier is now available to download from the Apple and Google Play app stores.

"The app is ideal for any organisation that needs to verify customers' vaccination status. Hospitality venues, close-contact businesses, large gatherings, events, air transport and gyms are just some of the types of businesses that will need to verify customer's vaccination status if they wish to operate in higher risk levels under the COVID-19 Protection Framework," Hipkins said.

"For customers entering a business requiring proof of vaccination status, their My Vaccine Pass will be scanned by the verifier app. The verifier will show a green tick recognising the official QR code that is embedded into the customer's pass.

"It will show quickly that the person is fully vaccinated or has the appropriate exemption and can enter their premises. Importantly, the verifier app does not store a person's data or see any information other than a person's name and date of birth.

"Technical guidance for NZ Pass Verifier is available on the Ministry of Health website and additional guidance for businesses using the verifier under the COVID Protection Framework will be out later this week. People will also be able to call 0800 800606 for assistance.

"Further work is being undertaken to accommodate events that expect large volumes of people at a time – such as stadiums, festivals, or large tourism operators.

"Earlier this month, the Ministry published technical specifications for My Vaccine Pass and its verification. Some companies will integrate the technology into existing digital journeys or pre-verification ticketing processes.

Essential services such as supermarkets, health and disability services, and primary and secondary education facilities cannot ask for proof of verification status and will not require a NZ Pass Verifier.

"As My Vaccine Pass and its verification become part of everyday habits, we're also asking people to keep using the tools we already have in place to protect us from COVID-19. Mask up, keep your distance and use your COVID Tracer app," Hipkins said.

"Nearly 1.4 million My Vaccine Passes have been generated so far. For those who haven't taken the step yet, we encourage you to do so."

The Government will also publicise guidance this week to help businesses successfully transition to the traffic light system.

9:19am - Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood is now holding a press conference to discuss the new vaccination requirement. 

He says the Government's new vaccination assessment tool will be available for businesses in mid-December after regulations are made under the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020.

The tool will be based on four factors. At least three of the higher-risk factors will need to be met before it would be reasonable to require vaccination for particular work.

The factors are: 

  • What type of environment does the worker work in? Lower risk - 100m2 indoor space or greater, or outside; Higher risk - Less than 100m2 indoor space.
  • How close does the person work to other people? Lower risk - At least 1 metre apart; Higher risk - Less than 1 metre apart.
  • How long is the worker in proximity to other people? Lower risk - 15 minutes or less; Higher risk - More than 15 minutes.
  • Does the worker provide services to people who are vulnerable to COVID-19? Lower risk - No; Higher risk - Yes.

Further testing and refinement will happen over the next few weeks.

The factor relating to 'vulnerable people' is defined as people who are under the minimum age to be vaccinated; medically exempt from being vaccinated; or at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

The Unite Against COVID-19 website has a section that sets out who is at higher risk of severe illness if they contract COVID-19 and the definition of vulnerable people is based on this definition. 

It will be optional for businesses to use the tool. They will still be able to use other health and safety risk assessment processes. The tool will not override any risk assessments that have already been done. WorkSafe has provided guidance on how these decisions can be made.

Employers can also require vaccination where a third party has made this a condition (e.g. to access their premises to work). However, just like using the tool, employers will need to work through any potential employment consequences of requiring vaccination for this reason.

These measures will be monitored to ensure that they remain an appropriate part of the Government's COVID-19 response and will be amended when required or removed when no longer required.

Staff at businesses required to use the My Vaccine Pass system under the COVID-19 Protection Framework must be fully vaccinated by January 17.
Staff at businesses required to use the My Vaccine Pass system under the COVID-19 Protection Framework must be fully vaccinated by January 17. Photo credit: Getty Images

9:15am - Staff at businesses that are required to use the My Vaccine Pass system to operate under the COVID-19 Protection Framework must have their first dose of the vaccine by December 3 and be fully vaccinated by January 17, 2022, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced on Tuesday.

Vaccination will be required for all workers at businesses that must use My Vaccine Passes to operate, or have the option of using My Vaccine Passes to operate with fewer restrictions. This applies to hospitality, events, gatherings, close-contact businesses and gyms. Tertiary education, that takes place on-site, is also included at the Red level of the COVID-19 Protection Framework.

To continue doing work in these areas, staffers will need to have their first vaccination by the day that the COVID-19 Protection Framework comes into effect - Friday, December 3 - and will need to be fully vaccinated by January 17, 2022.

The Government is also set to release a simplified vaccination assessment tool, designed to help employers decide if they would require vaccination for different types of work, Wood said. The tool will specify four key factors, at least three of which must be met, before it would be reasonable to require vaccination for particular work.

The new measures are part of the Government's efforts to protect businesses and workers from COVID-19 as the country gets ready to transition to the new COVID-19 Protection Framework next week.

"Employers and employees have been asking for certainty on what roles may need to be done by vaccinated workers under the COVID-19 Protection Framework," Wood said on Tuesday. "Vaccine requirements in the workplace are a common tool many countries around the world are using to stop the spread of COVID and to protect their workers and customers from the virus.

"We've developed a tool to help clarify what work should be covered by vaccinated workers and to create a simple and clear tool for assessing when it is reasonable to require vaccination for other work.

"This tool provides a clear, legal framework to help businesses make decisions about vaccinations in the workplace. It builds on the guidance provided by WorkSafe and has had input from BusinessNZ and the CTU.

"This new process won't override risk assessments that businesses have already done under the existing health and safety guidelines. Businesses can choose which one they use, and any assessments done to date remain valid."

Legislation allowing the vaccination assessment tool to be created, as well as introducing four weeks' paid notice of termination and paid time off to get vaccinated, will be passed under urgency this week, Wood said.

"This legislation will come into effect the day after it is passed. The assessment tool will then be available for businesses to use once regulations are made in mid-December under the amended law.

"It's common sense to ensure staff in workplaces that are either required to or can use the My Vaccine Pass are vaccinated. This is regardless of whether the business chooses to require My Vaccine Passes from customers or attendees. It gives confidence to the customers who are vaccinated and means the business will be less likely to be affected by cases.

"For those who are not yet vaccinated, especially workers in areas where My Vaccine Passes can be applied, there are 10 days left to get your first dose. It is free, safe and the most effective way to keep you, your whānau, business and customers safe. It's a simple contribution to keeping all New Zealanders safe from COVID-19."

Non-vaccinated employees doing work that requires vaccination (either under mandates or an employer requirement) will be given a new four-week paid notice period if their employment agreements are terminated. This gives these employees a final chance to get vaccinated before their employment agreements are terminated. This change is part of amendments being made this week to the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020. Employers will be required to provide paid time-off for employees to get vaccinated.

8:45am - Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood will hold a press conference at 9:15am at the Beehive to make an announcement on workplace vaccination.

8:35am - David Coombes, the managing director of Flight Centre New Zealand, says the industry is ready and waiting for the go-ahead from the Government as calls intensify for the international borders to reopen.

"We need to get a move on, for our people, for our customers, for our families, and for our business - let's get moving. It's safe to do so now," Coombes told The AM Show on Tuesday morning.

He says there has been no clarity from officials as to when the travel industry can prepare for the floodgates to open.

"What's the difference between vaccinated people coming in across an international border versus across a domestic border? We're ready to go, geared up, waiting for the demand - and waiting to hear."

8:25am - Riots in the Netherlands, calls for stronger action in Germany, on-site learning resumes in South Korea, and widespread bans for the unvaccinated in the Czech Republic - here's the latest on the pandemic from around the world overnight.

8:20am - Hairdressers in Auckland are "excited" to reopen their doors on Thursday, but some say a few days' notice would have been appreciated.

Speaking to The AM Show on Tuesday morning, Simone Jones, the owner of HeadStart Total Body in Auckland, said she was overwhelmed with requests to reschedule appointments following the Prime Minister's announcement.

She said she had "no idea" the Government was planning to allow salons to reopen ahead of the transition to the 'traffic light' system - and an advance warning could have helped her to be better prepared for the return to business. 

"It certainly would have been a really big help if we had a few days' notice. As soon as the announcement went off at 4pm, at about 4:05pm my phone was pinging and pinging - people wanting to reschedule their appointments, bring them earlier, thinking they were going to be able to change them. A few more days would have been really, really good. We sort of need a week lead-in," she told The AM Show.

"I don't think any other industry realises that when we're down and come back, every phone call that we make, they're our friends - they're not just clients. Every conversation is at least 10 minutes while we check on them, check how they are; they want to check how we are. It's a huge job getting 13 weeks of clients re-booked into a short four weeks." 

8:10am - Hairdressers had "no idea" the Government was planning to allow salons to reopen in Auckland this week, with Monday's announcement coming as a "huge shock".

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed that Auckland's hairdressers and barbers can open their doors from Thursday, November 25 in order to trial the new 'My Vaccine Pass' system. Vaccine certificates were officially launched last week ahead of New Zealand's transition to the COVID-19 Protection Framework, which has now been set for 11:59pm on December 2. The passes will reward fully vaccinated Kiwis with a return to relatively normal life, allowing them access to events, festivals, hospitality venues and other close-contact businesses - such as salons. 

Simone Jones, the owner of HeadStart Total Body, said she was completely unaware of the Government's plans prior to the announcement.

"No. We had no idea at all. We had heard rumours - there were rumours going around obviously that we may be opening this week, but then the Prime Minister kept saying 'wait until the 29th'. So the 29th was the day we were waiting for, and we were expecting to open probably on December 1 - so it came as a huge shock to us," Jones told The AM Show on Tuesday morning.

Mana Dave, the co-owner of Blaze Hair and Pony Professionnel, agreed the announcement was "very surprising".

"It's very surprising, But I think the big thing is we're grateful that we're in a position to be able to reopen. We're very aware as an industry there are still other small businesses that don't have the opportunity to open yet. So there are going to be some challenges, but we are definitely going to make the most of it." 

8am - Auckland-based hairdressers are excited to finally reopen their doors after more than three months.

On Monday afternoon, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that hairdressers and barbers can open from Thursday, November 25 in order to trial the new 'My Vaccine Pass' system.

Steph Hosking, from Luxe and Duke Hairdressing in Auckland, is "stoked" to open the doors to the salon.

"Oh stoked, absolutely stoked that we can finally get the doors open," she told Newshub on Monday.

The trial will mark the first real-world test for the Government's vaccine certificate system, which was officially launched last week.

"Hairdressers will need to operate with the vaccine passes, take bookings only, no walk-ins, ensure there isn't large congestion, and make sure staff are vaccinated," Ardern said on Monday.

Hosking says customers are already sending through their vaccine certificates in preparation for the reopening.

"A lot of them have already sent through proof of that status and I guess we'll get them to show us before they sit in the chair and we start cutting," she said.

Read more here.

7:50am - Kia ora, good morning, and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak for Tuesday, November 23.