7 Mar 2021

Auckland now at Covid-19 alert level 2, the rest of the country alert level 1

6:04 am on 7 March 2021

Auckland is now at Covid-19 alert level 2 and the rest of the country at alert level 1.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at media briefing 

Where she announced Auckland moving to alert level 2

Jacinda Ardern announced the change in alert levels on Friday. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

After a cabinet meeting on Friday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed the plan to lower the alert levels after there were no new Covid-19 cases in the community for five days in a row.

Ardern said Cabinet will review the decision at the end of next week, with a view to moving Auckland to alert level 1 at the start of next weekend.

Auckland was moved to an alert level 3 lockdown on 28 February and the rest of the country to alert level 2 for a period of seven days, after two new Covid-19 community cases were announced last Saturday night.

It has now been six days with no new community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand. The most recent community case was reported on 28 February and linked to the Auckland February cluster.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff yesterday said community cooperation had helped to stop the spread of the virus and he would continue to lobby the government to prioritise Auckland over other areas less impacted by the virus, when the vaccine is rolled out to the public.

Despite the lower alert levels public health officials are warning New Zealanders, and particularly Aucklanders, to remain vigilant.

That means Aucklanders behaving as if they are in alert level 2 and following alert level 2 rules even if they travel outside their region, Professor Shaun Hendy, from Auckland University research centre Te Pūnaha Matatini said.

At alert level 2 social gatherings are restricted to 100 people, physical distancing of 2m is required in public and supermarkets and shops and 1m in most workplaces, cafes, gyms and restaurants. Face coverings are required on public transport and domestic flights and encouraged in places where physical distancing is not possible.

At alert level 1 people need to stay at home if they are unwell, get a test if they have Covid-19 symptoms, wear face coverings on public transport and to keep track of where they have been by using the Covid Tracer app or keeping a written dairy.

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