23 Aug 2020

Changes made to Auckland's Covid-19 alert level 3 travel restrictions

2:44 pm on 23 August 2020

Two major changes to travel in Auckland during the Covid-19 alert level 3 lockdown have come into effect.

A Covid-19 travel warning on an Auckland motorway sign on 18 August.

File image. Photo: RNZ

As of 11.59pm on Saturday, people can now transit through Auckland without stopping in order to travel for work.

In addition, patients who need to travel into Auckland for hospital appointments do not need a travel exemption.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said the changes were intended to "make movement across the boundary more workable for businesses and service providers".

Those travelling through for work must show evidence of the purpose of their travel and their departure point and destination, but an exemption is no longer required.

Those travelling for hospital appointments just need to produce identification and an appointment letter or similar evidence in order to move through the regional border.

"Existing class exemptions have also been added into the Covid-19 Public Health Response Order to make them more visible and clearer for people," the MOH said.

"The Covid-19 website provides the most up-to-date list of travel exemption categories and evidence requirements."

The MOH had, as of Sunday afternoon, received more than 10,300 applications for exemptions.

More than 1500 applications had been approved and about 400 have been declined.

"Urgent applications, for example, to visit a dying family member, are prioritised and processed promptly.

"People and businesses should check the information on the website to see whether they need to apply before doing so."

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