28 Feb 2021

Jacinda Ardern warns New Zealand: 'Covid kills people'

11:18 pm on 28 February 2021

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is urging people to stay home and for anyone with symptoms to immediately get tested.

Ardern and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield held a media conference on Sunday afternoon, hours after the country's alert levels went up.

Missed the update? Watch it back here:

There were no new community cases at the time of the media conference, but one case was announced later in the day - a person who was already in quarantine after members of their household tested positive on 23 and 26 February.

Speaking this afternoon, Bloomfield said he was confident Level 3 was appropriate at this point in time, as long as everyone did what is required at Level 3, such as having as little human contact as possible.

Ardern urged people to stay home, and anyone with symptoms to get tested straight away.

"Covid kills people. We must never lose sight of the reasons we take these measures - it is to save our people's lives and our livelihoods."

The prime minister said the number of exposure events was a reason Auckland moved to Alert Level 3.

She said regular check-ins are being done to make sure those who have been asked to stay at home, are staying at home. She said police will get involved if people are breaching the rules of self-isolating.

Close contacts are in daily telephone contact, and if they can not be contacted, door-to-door visits may be considered.

Ardern asked employers to make sure those who need to be isolating do not come to work. Financial help is available. The wage subsidy is available nationwide through this period.

"Despite our best efforts to date, recent cases have gone to work when they shouldn't have," Ardern said.

Follow all the latest developments with RNZ's live blog here.

Auckland moved back to Alert Level 3 this morning, while the rest of the country moved to Alert Level 2 following two new Covid-19 community cases that could not be directly linked to earlier cases.

Ardern made the announcement at a briefing at 9pm last night saying that the alert level changes would come in from 6am today and would be in place for seven days.

This morning the government confirmed genomic sequencing showed the latest community case of Covid-19 in Auckland is linked to the South Auckland cluster.

Ardern said this afternoon that New Zealanders will not beat Covid-19 by turning on each other. She said New Zealanders have enjoyed more freedoms than any other country in the OECD.

This is an official government Covid-19 announcement.

From 28 February, the Auckland region moves to Covid-19 Alert Level 3. The rest of New Zealand moves to Alert Level 2. This is for a period of seven days. Further community cases of Covid-19 have been identified in the Auckland Region. If you are in Auckland, stay home where possible, and follow Alert Level 3 guidelines. This will stop the transmission of Covid-19 and save lives. For more information on the alert levels go to covid19.govt.nz.

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Kia Kaha - Stay Strong

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