During an interview with the NZ Herald on Friday, a reporter asked Ardern if her goal is to create two classes of citizens with New Zealand's “traffic light” system, which Ardern unveiled Friday morning.
“So you've basically said, you probably don't see it like this, but two different classes of people — if you're vaccinated or unvaccinated. You have all these rights if you are vaccinated –” NZ Herald‘s deputy political editor Derek Cheng asked Ardern.
“That is what it is, yep,” Ardern replied.
When the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was asked by a reporter if she was creating two classes of people, the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, Ardern confirmed stating, "That is what it is, yep". pic.twitter.com/mY6cQBCFzX
— Marie Oakes (@TheMarieOakes) October 24, 2021
Under New Zealand's new “traffic light” system, the government said it will end lockdowns when 90 percent of the eligible population is vaccinated against the Chinese coronavirus. Vaccine certificates are expected to be widely used under the new system as well.
“With vaccine certificates at red, orange and green business will be able to continue to open and operate,” Ardern said, according to Newshub.
If certificates have been implemented at marae, places of worship, events, gyms and hospitality venues, “they will be able to operate without limits or restrictions under green or orange. There will be some restrictions under red,” the report states. Venues that opt out of the certificates will be subject to “heavy restrictions.”
The report continued:
Under green level, these restrictions will be
Hospitality — up to 100 people, based on 1m physical distancing, seated and separated
Gatherings (for example weddings, places of worship, marae) — up to 100 people, based on 1m physical distancing
Events (indoor/outdoor) — up to 100 people, based on 1m physical distancing, seated and separated
Close contact businesses — face coverings for staff, 1m distancing between customers
Gyms — up to 100 people, based on 1m physical distancing
Under orange level, these restrictions will be
Hospitality — contactless only
Gatherings (for example weddings, places of worship, marae) — up to 50 people, based on 1m distancing
Events (indoor/outdoor), gyms and close contact businesses will not be able to operate at all
“If you want summer, if you want to go to bars and restaurants get vaccinated, if you want to get a hair cut – get vaccinated,” the prime minister said.
Ardern told the Herald the use of vaccine certificates is designed to make vaccinated people feel safe, even though vaccinated people are reportedly protected against severe illness.
“Actually, what has become clear to me, is that [vaccine certificates] are not just a tool to drive up vaccines. They're a tool for confidence,” Ardern said, without mentioning that vaccinated people can also carry and spread the virus. “People who have been vaccinated will want to know that they are around other vaccinated people. They'll want to know that they are in a safe environment.”
New Zealand, which has only reported 28 Chinese coronavirus deaths since the pandemic began, has enforced some of the “tightest pandemic restrictions among OECD nations,” Reuters reported. Despite that fact, the country has been experiencing an outbreak, with nearly 2,500 cases reported out of a population of 5 million.
In mid-October, the New Zealand government imposed a “no jab, no job” vaccine policy for most healthcare workers and teachers, though most government workers are already required to be vaccinated. As of October 23, New Zealand's Ministry of Health reported that 59 percent of the total population and 70 percent of the eligible population was fully vaccinated.
The country also uses an “MIQ facility” which is a “managed isolation and quarantine” site run by New Zealand's government. Federal officials require “every single person entering New Zealand” to enter an MIQ facility for “14 days of managed isolation.”
Katherine Hamilton is a political reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow her on Twitter.