Auckland to move to alert level 2, Prime Minister confirms

This RNZ.co.nz story is republished with permission

Auckland will move to alert level 2 and the rest of New Zealand will move to level 1 at 6am on Sunday morning, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced.

Ardern announced the move while speaking to media after a Cabinet meeting to decide on alert level changes.

Watch the media conference live here:

This will be reconsidered with a plan to move Auckland down a level at the start of the next weekend if possible, she said.

“If you are sick, stay at home, don’t go to work or school and don’t socialise. Keep track of where you’ve been at all times.”

The restriction of 100 people at events will be in place.

Ardern said it was good news that there had been no new cases for five days in a row.

Ardern said the strategy of elimination was best for New Zealand but it did not make it easy.

“Covid has taken a toll on so many in so many ways, but it will get better.”

She said an elimination strategy was hard work and it was normal to feel fatigued, but New Zealand was not in the devastating position that much of the world found itself in.

No new cases of Covid-19 have been reported in the community or in managed isolation today.

The Ministry of Health said there was still a strong demand for testing with more than 11,500 tests processed yesterday. Results from wastewater testing at three Auckland sites – including Papatoetoe – on Wednesday have all come back negative.

Dr Ashley Bloomfield said today that about 6000 people connected to the latest cluster have been contacted, with many of them followed up on a daily basis.

He said all outstanding Papatoetoe contacts have returned a negative test.

“It is possible we may still get positive results from people who remain in isolation and are still to get a day 12 tests. It’s important to note that these people are in isolation,” he said.

Dr Bloomfield said under a new Section 70 order, any person who attended City Fitness Hunters Plaza on 20 February between 11.15am and 1.45pm, or 26 February between 3.25pm and 4.30pm, as well as anyone who is a close, close-plus or casual contacts is required to:

* Isolate at your usual home

* Report for testing at a specified time

* Accept testing and isolate until you are told officially that you no longer need to

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