Covid-19 Minister Chris Hipkins says tens of thousands of travellers are expected to flood New Zealand each week when the borders reopen next year.
And he warns that it only took one person to cause the latest outbreak that has plunged Auckland into 100-day lockdown.
Hipkins was speaking this morning a day after the Government announced changes to the MIQ system that will see fully vaccinated Kiwis skip MIQ facilities from January.
Defending the speed at which the traffic light legislation was rushed through, he said he would much prefer to put things through a usual parliamentary process. It was not ideal, but they had put safeguards in place.
Hipkins told TVNZ Breakfast that in a pandemic they had to make decisions and in an ideal world he would like to have run it through select committee for six months.
While they could have slowed the process down that would have meant Auckland would have waited longer to get out of restrictions as well as the rest of the country and he didn't want people to wait longer than need to.
However, there were extra safeguards in place, he said.
Every order that was made under the new bill would get scrutinised and had to be periodically renewed by Parliament.
Vaccine passes will be needed to enter most bars, cafes and hairdressers under the Government's new Covid management traffic light system as well as all music festivals, rugby games and major events.
Auckland bars, cafes and restaurants will reopen and begin using the passes from 11.59pm on December 2 when the nation moves into the traffic light system.
But hairdressers are rapt to be opening earlier as part of the trial.
Today marks 100 days since Auckland was plunged back into lockdown on August 17.
The long weeks have left Aucklanders with no chance of a trim, colouring or style.
At Bliss Boutique Hair Salon, Kathleen Novak was enjoying a spot of honour as the very first customer.
Stylist Shannon Grange said Novak was offered the prized spot as she is one of their most faithful clients.
Novak has been going to the salon for about 40 years.
Sitting next to her also getting a haircut this morning was her husband, John Novak, who was in good spirits about scoring the second spot even if it was made clear his wife was the guest of honour.
"My manager came first," he joked. "I'm the worker in the family and I can (go) second."
Hairdresser Hakan Altan is unsheathing his scissors for the first time in more than three months this morning as he expects to do battle with a range of wild, unkempt mullets.
The Hedzabove hair salon owner in Kohimarama in Auckland's inner east opened his doors at 7am today, one among hundreds of city hairdressers reopening for the first time since the latest Delta Covid outbreak hit New Zealand in August.
Meanwhile, Hipkins also revealed this morning that New Zealand would revert to the alert level system if a new vaccine-resistant variant overwhelmed the country and the traffic light framework couldn't contain it.
Speaking to The AM Show Chris Hipkins said while the Government was absolutely committed to the traffic light system, a back-up plan would be going back to the alert level system.
The Government would have to revert to the alert level plan if they had a variant of the virus that was resistant to the vaccine, he said.
It was a possibility, but it's not what they thought would happen, he added.