"Thank you, Aucklanders, for doing the right thing. It’s been heartening to see commuters in New Zealand’s largest city responding positively to the Government’s call to wear face coverings to help eliminate the spread of COVID-19," a spokesperson from Ministry of Health Covid response team said. 

From midnight last night, it became mandatory for commuters on public transport in Auckland to wear a face covering. It is also mandatory for people to wear face coverings on all domestic passenger flights in New Zealand and on Auckland’s ferries.

While it is not mandatory to wear face coverings on public transport in other parts of the country, MoH has encouraged people to do so.

According to Auckland Transport 90 to 95 percent of people were wearing face coverings this morning. It is recommended commuters wear face coverings around other people on platforms and at bus stops while waiting.

For those who have forgotten to carry a face covering with them, Auckland Transport staff and Police at key stations have been handing out spares – but the vast majority of people appear aware of the rule change.

Drivers and transport workers are not being asked to enforce the new requirements.

Remember, there may be legitimate health reasons for someone not wearing a face covering, and MoH has asked people not to take enforcement matters into their own hands.

New vaccine agreement

The Government has today announced an in-principle agreement with Janssen Pharmaceutica to buy up to five million COVID-19 vaccine doses – potentially enough to immunise everyone in the country.

Janssen and its parent company Johnson & Johnson have a very strong track record producing safe and effective pharmaceutical products globally and in New Zealand.

The agreement would see up to two million doses delivered from July 2021, with an option to purchase up to three million additional doses that would be delivered throughout 2022.

A key feature of the Janssen vaccine is that it’s likely to be a single dose vaccine, which would potentially be easier to administer than other options.

We are working to ensure that additional agreements are in place to complete the Government’s vaccine portfolio. Last month, the Government agreed to buy 1.5 million doses of a Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.

It is a priority to make sure every New Zealander has access to safe and effective vaccines, and any COVID-19 vaccine will be subject to approval by New Zealand’s medicines safety authority, Medsafe. Medsafe will assess each vaccine that shows promise to ensure it meets international safety and quality benchmarks.

Sick? Stay home, get tested

If you are unwell with cold or flu symptoms, stay at home, get a test, and stay home until you receive a negative result. 

The Ministry of Health lists locations all over New Zealand where you can get tested if you need to.

Keep scanning

The NZ COVID Tracer app keeps us one step ahead of the virus. It now has 2,372,000 registered users and there have been 119,725,227 poster scans.

If you don’t have a smartphone, use another method like pen and paper to keep a record.