As New Zealand gets ready for the festive season under the new traffic light system, the emergence of the Omicron variant is a reminder this pandemic is far from over, RNZ reports. Omicron has already arrived in Australia and the question now is whether it will get to New Zealand during the summer holiday season and potentially affect plans for border openings. Omicron contains 32 mutations that may make the virus more transmissible and better at evading immunity.