Most of the upper North Island - including Auckland - will go straight into the red level under the new traffic light system from tomorrow, but Waikato has been spared due to its high vaccination rate.
Auckland, Northland, Taupo and Rotorua Lakes Districts, Kawerau, Whakatane, Opotiki Districts, Gisborne District, Wairoa District, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu districts will all move into the highest level of restrictions once the new Covid-19 protection framework comes into effect.
Some of the regions don't have active Covid cases, but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said there was a clear message that vaccination rates had to be at or near 90 per cent to move from the red level.
Waikato, and the rest of the North Island will move to orange. No regions will go straight to green.
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Waikato is fast approaching the 90 per cent full vaccinated mark - sitting at 83.8 per cent. A total of 91.1 per cent have had their first jab.
Waipa is leading the way with 93.9 per cent first doses and 88.3 per cent fully vaccinated.
There were 14 cases confirmed in the Waikato overnight, with seven in Te Kūiti, two in Huntly, two in Ōtorohanga, one in Hamilton, one in Ngāruawāhia, and one location under investigation.
Orange means most places can open, with few restrictions for people who are vaccinated and can provide a My Vaccine Pass. It should be a lifeline for hospitality, events, entertainment, gyms and accommodation providers - and provide relief for people who want to gather at church, marae or other clubs and organisations.
And while businesses that choose to operate with vaccination requirements are able to require a My Vaccine Passport, providers of basic needs such as supermarkets, public transport and essential healthcare cannot make the My Vaccination Pass mandatory.
Cabinet will review settings and provide an update on Monday, December 13. The next update by ministers will be on Monday, January 17, and will continue on a fortnightly basis.
"The factors considered when setting the colours in each region include vaccination, the state of the health system, testing, contact tracing and case management capacity, as well as the rate and effect of Covid-19 transmission," said the PM.