There are 5285 new cases of Covid-19 in the community today and a further 12 deaths, the Ministry of Health has reported.
There are 300 people in hospital with the virus, including five in intensive care.
Today 31 previously reported deaths have been re-classified as unrelated to Covid-19.
"These deaths occurred more than 28 days after these people were reported as Covid-19 cases and were initially thought to be Covid-19 related, however, their formal cause of death classification has been deemed as unrelated to Covid-19."
The ministry said the rate of hospitalisations due to Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) has been increasing for the past six weeks and is higher than previous years for this time of year.
Approximately nine people per 100,000 are being hospitalised with SARI, the ministry said in a statement.
"Influenza is the most commonly detected virus in the week ending 19 June. The Ministry of Health would like to remind people who haven't yet had their flu vaccine this year to get vaccinated as soon as they can."
Today's Covid cases are in Northland (143), Auckland (1596), Waikato (298), Bay of Plenty (175), Lakes (63), Hawke's Bay (142), MidCentral (148), Whanganui (57), Taranaki (158), Tairāwhiti (37), Wairarapa (45), Capital and Coast (512), Hutt Valley (225), Nelson Marlborough (199), Canterbury (936), South Canterbury (74), Southern (426), West Coast (48), Unknown (3).
There are also 106 new imported cases.
In total, there are 33,699 active cases of the virus in the community.
The seven-day rolling average of community case numbers today is 4817 – last Thursday it was 5451.
Of today's deaths, two people were in their 50s, seven were in their 80s and three were aged over 90.
Four were from Northland, one was from the Auckland region, one was from Bay of Plenty, two were from Taranaki, one was from MidCentral, one was from the Wellington region, one was from Canterbury, and one was from Southern.
Travel warning to holidaymakers
The ministry is reminding Kiwis to have plans in place if they are going away over the Matariki long weekend and in the event of contracting Covid-19 or are identified as a household contact.
"You would need to self-isolate and likely remain wherever you test positive or become a household contact, so there may be extra costs involved in paying for additional accommodation and changing your travel plans," the ministry said.
Those who used their own vehicle to travel to their destination and travel back home to isolate, adhering to health measures.
"However, if you have used public transport or travelled between islands, you won't be able to travel to isolate at your home. So it is important you have a plan and the ability to isolate where you are holidaying if you need to do so."
There will be no Covid update from the ministry tomorrow. The usual 1pm update will return from Saturday, and Saturday's update will include Friday's figures.
With the seven-day rolling average of community cases at 4873 yesterday - a fall of nearly 1000 cases compared with the same time last week - and 18 more deaths, people are being reminded to stay vigilant.
Health officials say while the long weekend is a great chance to get away and relax with whānau and friends, those heading away need plans in place in the event they contract the infection or are identified as a household contact of a case.
"You would need to self-isolate and likely remain wherever you test positive or become a household contact, so there may be extra costs involved in paying for additional accommodation and changing your travel plans," said the ministry.
It advises those who have used their own vehicle to travel, to return home to isolate, taking public health measures to ensure others aren't infected on the trip home.
This includes maintaining social distancing yourself from others, wearing a mask, keeping hands clean and dry and using self-service petrol stations for refuelling.
"However, if you have used public transport or travelled between islands, you won't be able to travel to isolate at your home. So it is important you have a plan and the ability to isolate where you are holidaying if you need to do so," said the ministry.
There are currently 33,732 active community cases of Covid-19. Health officials suspect around one-third of all cases are not being reported.
Yesterday there were 334 people in hospital with the virus, including four in intensive care.
The highest numbers of hospitalisations were in Auckland, Waitematā, Counties Manukau, and Canterbury.
The death toll rose to 1450 with the seven-day rolling average of daily reported deaths at 13.
The outbreak's long tail continues into winter as health bosses devise strategies to tackle possible future mutations of Covid-19.
The Ministry of Health said it was very likely a new Covid-19 variant of concern would emerge within weeks or months.
A new "variants of concern" strategic framework has been developed, director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said at yesterday's briefing to the Covid-19 Response Minister Ayesha Verrall.
The new plan had five scenarios outlining the severity and immune-escape characteristics of various possible variants.
A worst-case scenario would involve a highly transmissible variant also capable of evading immune responses.
Meanwhile, the ministry said because of the Matariki public holiday on Friday there would be no update tomorrow.
But there would be the usual 1pm updates published over the long weekend on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday's statement will include the figures for Friday.