26 Jan 2022

Lots of booster jabs, new rules for mask wearing explained

From First Up, 5:52 am on 26 January 2022

Later today we'll find out a bit more about what the next phases of New Zealand's Omicron strategy will look like, It follows yesterday's news that 14.5 million Rapid Antigen Tests will arrive in the country by the end of February, for use initially by essential service and supply chain workers, although PCR tests will remain the go-to for most New Zealanders, However, in a post-cabinet briefing yesterday the Prime Minister said the best defence against Omicron remains getting a booster vaccination. It comes as 10 new Omicron cases were reported in the community yesterday, bringing the total number of cases from the January outbreak to 29. Yesterday Ellie Jay went to an Auckland vaccine centre to ask how prepared are people are for Omicron. And from next Friday, you won't be able to wear a bandana or t-shirt tied around your face - it'll have to be a proper face mask. And workers mandated to be vaccinated will have to wear a medical-grade mask when working in public-facing roles. Someone who's been calling for more stringent rules around face coverings is Dr Lucy Telfar-Barnard, who's a senior research fellow at the University of Otago's Wellington Department of Public Health.