New Zealand has moved to its ‘red’ level of restrictions following an outbreak caused by the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The country uses the ‘traffic light’ system to detail its restrictions to limit the spread of infection. Moving to ‘red’ means that both indoor and outdoor event attendances are limited to 100 people in a defined space, based on one-metre physical distancing. Events and sporting matches are still able to go ahead with the capacity limits, but can also only be attended by those with the ‘My Vaccine Pass’ demonstrating vaccination against coronavirus.

The ‘My Vaccine Pass’ will be needed to enter venues and events such as cinemas, concert venues, conferences, sporting events, private galleries and stadiums.

Events cannot go ahead if ‘My Vaccine Pass’ requirements, capacity limits and social distancing rules are not followed by organisers and attendees.

Lunar New Year Festival, which celebrates the Chinese New Year and is due to run between February 1-12 in Wellington, has cancelled some of its larger events, including a parade and Asian market. New Zealand Fashion Week has also been cancelled following the announcement from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who has even postponed her own wedding.

While several events in the country have been cancelled, New Zealand Sports Minister Grant Robinson has said that the women’s ODI Cricket World Cup will still be able to go ahead in March and April.

Robinson said in a press conference that organisers had been “planning for this tournament to take place in the red setting”. The competition would be able to take place in a red setting if necessary, as organisers could effectively create pods of 100 people to adhere to the defined space rules, as long as there is distancing and the pods enter and exit at different points.

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