Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will today emerge from a short stint in self-isolation and return to the Beehive after her Omicron scare on a plane.
It comes as another Auckland school has been forced to delay its re-opening by a week due to all teaching staff isolating after a staff member tested positive for Covid-19.
The infected staff member was onsite with Ramarama School's other teachers for five days prior to the school re-opening so all staff are considered close contacts and getting tested.
Board of Trustees chairman Aaron Farr said it was extremely disappointing for the staff and students who were due back today, but the school which has a roll of about 190 students had no other choice.
"I think we all understand the reality that there's going to be some disruptions and everyone does their best to mitigate it. The teachers are devastated becasue they want the students back, they want to be in school.
"While we hear from the the community that it is disappointing for students, it is equally diappointing for teachers."
Providing all the tests came back negative, the school would re-open next Tuesday.
Govt announcement on boosters later today
Ardern is returning to Wellington this morning and will hold a press conference at 1.30pm on boosters ahead of her first major speech of the year on Thursday. At that Ardern will set out the new plans for reopening the border, after the Delta outbreak and then Omicron forced a delay in plans to allow home isolation for returning New Zealanders.
Ardern has not done any media interviews or social media posts since she went into isolation, but did chair Cabinet virtually on Tuesday.
Ardern, Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro and some staff members have been isolating after a flight attendant on their flight from Kerikeri to Auckland last weekend tested positive for Omicron. Everyone on the flight was deemed a close contact and required to get a test.
Meanwhile millions of rapid antigen tests are on their way to New Zealand ahead of predictions that they will could be needed within the next two weeks when Omicron case numbers are expected to spike to 1000 cases a day.
Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson told RNZ this morning that orders for RATS had been placed since October and the focus was on making sure they had enough for the first two phases of its three-phased Omicron plan announced last week.
The Government announced yesterday that 55 million tests would be in the country by March with a total 123 million due to arrive in the country by June.
PCR testing was still the preferred form of testing at the moment, but in the second phase RATS would be used first for critical workers before stretching to the general public.
However Robertson said there was a global shortage of rapid antigen tests (RATS).
InScience owner Ann-louise Anderson, whose company imports rapid antigen tests, has been sourcing products approved last week and expected to have them available to sell to companies by the beginning of next week.
She claimed for months the Government had been sitting on "lots and lots of approvals" for RATS which had met their minimum approval criteria and had only approved them last week when there was suddenly a need.
"The quite a few million more (tests) came from the ones that were newly approved and those approvals and all of those features of those products have been the same for the last year."
National leader Chris Luxon told RNZ Australia had already approved more than 60 different suppliers of RATS, while New Zealand had approved less than 10.
He said New Zealand should today approve those other 50 tests Australia was already using and also enlist the help of big companies in the private sector such as Air New Zealand, Mainfreight, Foodstuffs and Zuru to help procure supply.
Ultimately National wanted RATS to be available in schools, but also for everybody to buy from the supermarket and in pharmacies.
Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall earlier said that when the Omicron outbreak peaked, Kiwis might need nine million tests a week.
Covid-19 modeller professor Michael Plank said while he had been expecting case numbers to be a bit higher by now, the thing with exponential growth was case numbers started off relatively slowly and got faster and faster.
Speaking to RNZ, he said Omicron cases had quadrupled in the space of a week and that was consistent with what had happened in other countries.
"If that trend continues, it's likely we will see higher case numbers. We could get 400 potentially by the end of the week and if that continues we will probably reach that 1000 mark the week after."
At that point, Plank said RATS could start to come into their own and should be available in supermarkets and pharmacies.
"If people get minor symptoms, they can do a quick test and get a quick answer in about 20 minutes rather than having to drive across town and get a PCR test and wait a day or two for the result to come back."
Physicist Dr Dion O'Neale from Te Pūnaha Matatini said the tens of millions of rapid tests would help manage growing Omicron infection numbers.
He told the Science Media Centre the tests could return results in minutes, rather than days.
That made it possible to confirm infections much sooner after exposure, and for people to respond by self-isolating to break further chains of transmission, he said.
Meanwhile Kiwis will learn tomorrow when and how international travel might resume, after the Omicron response put the skids on reopening plans. It comes after Cabinet met yesterday to discuss the pandemic response.
Yesterday, 126 new community Covid-19 cases were reported nationwide.