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New Zealand Bracing for Imminent Arrival of Omicron, Ardern Says

A Covid-19 vaccination centre at a pharmacy in Wellington on Dec. 14.
A Covid-19 vaccination centre at a pharmacy in Wellington on Dec. 14.Photographer: Birgit Krippner/Bloomberg

New Zealand is bracing for the arrival of omicron, with the highly infectious Covid-19 variant expected to breach the nation’s closed border at any time.

“We know that with omicron it is a case of when, not if,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a news conference Monday in Auckland. “We’re doing what we can, but I think it would be wrong for us to assume that those border measures will be sufficient. At some point, we will see omicron in the community.”