• Covid-19: 18 new community cases

Covid-19: 18 new community cases

There are 18 new community cases of Covid-19 - 11 in Auckland, four in Waikato, two in Canterbury and one in Bay of Plenty. 

In a statement, the Health Ministry said there were 34 people with the virus in hospital, including two in intensive care. 

The 43 new cases at the border came from Australia, Singapore, UAE, Fiji and the USA. 

"New Zealand continues to see many border cases arriving from overseas, reflecting the growing number of Omicron cases globally," the Ministry said. 

To date, there have been 266 Omicron Covid-19 cases detected at the border since December 1.

During the same period, more than 18,000 people have arrived and been processed through Managed Isolation and Quarantine facilities

"New Zealand has taken steps to manage the risk of a community Omicron outbreak linked to border cases, including increasing the period overseas arrivals must spend in MIQ, and shifting the focus of whole-genome sequencing to areas of most risk, such as for any cases in border workers," the Ministry said. 

All travellers arriving in New Zealand require a pre-departure test. Travellers must receive their test 48 hours prior to travel. Travellers also must complete four tests while in managed isolation.

"This testing regime provides an extra level of protection to our existing border measures."