As the country prepares to hit the road over summer, Epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker says he believes New Zealand has the tools in place to limit transmission.
It comes as the country recorded 63 community cases on Saturday, the lowest number in seven weeks.
Baker says low case numbers is very good news coming into the Christmas period.
While cases are dropping, vaccination rates continue to climb with 17 out of 20 DHBs having had one or more doses.
Baker says “given that almost 95 per cent of the population has had one or more doses we can expect most of them will have their second dose.”
Although vaccination rates are high, “we still need to focus on getting children vaccinated as a measure to limit transmission,” he says.
Children under 12 don’t currently need to return a negative test before domestic travel, but Baker says this would add an extra layer of protection.
“There’s nothing to stop them [children] being infected with the virus and taking it with them, so I think that’s a policy we should look at in the next few days.”
He says we have tools in place to limit spread and stamp out outbreaks.
“We still have to expect to see the virus in our community but we don’t necessarily need to live with sustained transmission throughout the whole country.”
Auckland’s border is set to lift December 15, restrictions for the country being reviewed two days prior on the 13th.