After this week, New Zealanders have a much clearer idea of what our summer is broadly going to look like - and a month to prepare.
In just over a week the Cabinet will decide on how the traffic light framework will be applied around the country, with Auckland expected at this stage to move shortly afterwards to the red, most-restricted, setting.
Health districts with vaccination a way off the 90 per cent threshold at that stage will also probably be in red. Northland is likely to be one of them.
People can now download the My Vaccine Pass that is central to the traffic light system and from next Friday people will be able to book booster shots for six months after their second shot.
We also know that from December 15 the Auckland border will be able to be crossed on the roads by fully vaccinated people or those with a negative test for Covid-19. There are also vaccine requirements for air travel. This arrangement will be in place for the holiday period to January 17.
Movement will be monitored around Auckland by police making spot checks with the capacity to hand out fines. That decision appears to be a Government workaround - sidestepping the dilemma of checking everyone coming and going into the city.
After months pent up in one place, the traffic to places such as the Coromandel and the Mount will likely be challenging in the initial days.
All these decisions set in motion a number of likely reactions.
Vaccinated people will be going through the process of downloading the certificate showing their jabbed status. It will allow people in Auckland to finally attend events, go to cafes, bars, gyms and get a haircut provided a pass is used at those places.
For those vaccinated who want to travel over the holidays, the question of where exactly looms. At one end of the scale, cities and towns such as Wellington and Queenstown have already hit high vaccination rates. But the hopes of holding the Rhythm and Vines festival in Gisborne hinges on the Tairāwhiti district also getting there. Will areas with sluggish rates miss out economically from less tourist traffic?
Covid-19 cases are now popping up in multiple areas outside Auckland. Health experts say there's the potential for daily case numbers to rise further although they have ranged for a while between about 130 and 200.
Holiday movement and Christmas get-togethers could sow the virus further afield, potentially causing changes to settings while people are away. That could cause problems for travellers in terms of sudden costs and delays.
Some people currently unvaccinated may be spurred into getting a jab, especially if they are living in areas under alert level 2 settings but face harsher conditions from next month. If their area has a low dose rate, the unvaccinated would be shut out of visiting big events, restaurants, hairdressers and gyms.
The Government has pitched this scenario as a protection for the unvaccinated by limiting the spread of the virus. But it is in line with life quickly becoming harder for the unvaccinated elsewhere in the world.
Austria has locked down two million unvaccinated people. The Czech Republic plans to prevent unvaccinated people from attending events and services. Slovakia wants only vaccinated or Covid-recovered people to enter workplaces and non-essential shops. Germany is heading in the same direction. Belgium is introducing a four-day, work-from-home, working week. and Sweden is bringing in a vaccine pass.
Although the vast majority of New Zealanders eligible for shots have got them, Christmas will be awkward for those households split by the jabbed and jabless, giving family arguments over the usual ham and bubbly extra bite.
It also raises safety considerations. There's a degree of unknown transmission in the community as is. Some Aucklanders will be catching up with family elsewhere after months apart. Christmas meals tend to involve different generations, including the elderly who may be close to needing boosters and the very young who can't yet be vaccinated.
In that environment, it's hard to wear masks or socially distance. Rapid Covid tests, if they were widely available here, would have a place in reassuring family members from different parts of the country that they weren't carrying an infection.
The fact that the country is heading into summer when people spend more time outdoors - reducing the chance of virus spread - could in the end be the most reassuring part of the pandemic holidays.