Covid-19 Traffic Lights

A new Covid-19 traffic light system will replace our Alert Levels. The traffic light system will give us rules for what to do when there is Covid-19 in the community. It will be introduced when 90% of eligible New Zealanders have been vaccinated against Covid-19. “Eligible” is an adjective that means “able to” or “can”. In this case, it means that someone is over 12 years old and healthy enough to have the vaccine.

When the traffic light system is introduced, many businesses will be able to open again, but at red level, some close-contact businesses will only be allowed to serve customers who are vaccinated. These are businesses where people have close contact, such as gyms or restaurants. Customers will have to show a vaccination certificate that proves they have been vaccinated. When we are at green level, the risk of Covid-19 will be very low and people will not need to show certificates unless the close-contact business they are visiting is very crowded.


alert levels: right now, NZ uses a system of alert levels numbered 1-4. They have different rules for daily life, in order to control Covid-19.

introduce: In this story, introduce means to bring something new into the community

close contact: when you are very physically close to someone, or fairly close to them for a long time, this is close contact. The chances of catching a virus from someone in close contact is quite high, so close contact has to be handled carefully.

close-contact: a compound adjective meaning that something involves close contact

prove: show, give evidence

crowded: having many people