Covid-19 cases in the community continue to drop and symptomatic Aucklanders are being urged to get tested this weekend ahead of an alert level decision announcement on Monday.
- There are 11 new cases of Covid-19 in the community today.
- There are now 879 total cases, with 288 cases having now recovered.
- There are 29 unlinked cases, including six from today.
- Six new cases are in managed isolation and two historical cases were reported today.
Second round of resurgence support payments
Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said a second round of the Resurgence Support Payment will open.
"This is a new payment as the Resurgence Support Payment was originally seen as a one-off initiative but it is clear that as heightened alert level restrictions are in place for longer it does put more pressure on businesses."
Applications will open 17 September and will be available until one month after a nationwide return to level 1.
To qualify, firms must experience at least a 30 percent decline in revenue over seven days as a result of the current alert levels as well as existing eligibility.
The seven day window is from 8 September.
Latest case at Middlemore
Health officials are investigating a mystery case of Covid-19 who spent time in hospital and interacted with seven police officers before she knew she was infected.
The woman was swabbed as a precaution when she went to Middlemore Hospital yesterday for a non Covid-related reason.
She spent two hours at the hospital's emergency department and short stay ward, and the positive result came back after she had left.
She'd also had contact with seven police officers on Wednesday morning.
The officers were wearing masks but have been stood down as a precaution.
The hospital staff were wearing full protective gear and are deemed to be low risk, but 36 patients were being asked to isolate.
We need weekend testing numbers to be high - get tested if you're symptomatic' - Bloomfield
New Zealanders are being told to keep Covid-19 testing numbers up over the weekend ahead of next week's alert level decision.
Cabinet will meet on Monday to decide whether any parts of the country can move down an alert level.
More than 14,000 swabs were processed yesterday.
Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said 7000 of those tests were from the Auckland region.
"This continues to be giving us confidence about the outbreak, and whether or not it is controlled, and one thing I would like to emphasise is this weekend is critical that we get high testing numbers.
"So anyone who is symptomatic, particularly in Tāmaki Makaurau, please do go and get a test."
Investigations continuing into locations of interest and mystery cases
Several new locations of interest are part of the Ministry of Health's source investigation into two unlinked cases.
The two unlinked cases are household contacts but genomic testing shows they have different mutations of the virus - meaning there could be a case or two in-between them.
One of the new locations of interest is the Crowne Plaza vaccination centre.
The date of potential exposure is 23 August.
Anyone who visited the vaccination centre, or any of the latest locations listed by the Ministry of Health is to get tested immediately.
Vaccination boost this weekend
People who turned up to country's first mass vaccination event in Manukau at the end of July, are among thousands who visited drive-through centres in Auckland today for a second dose.
From today until Sunday they are invited to go to the Auckland Airport Park and Ride in Māngere or the Trusts Arena in Henderson, if they haven't already booked in elsewhere.
Both sites have already been operating as vaccination centres since last month, and extra staff have been brought in.
Northern Region Health Coordination Centre vaccination programme lead Matt Hannant says there'd been 2500 doses administered across the two sites by 1pm today.
"Actually, we think that we could probably do more through [the Airport Park & Fly site]. The site's configured to do over 4000. So I think a key message from us is if you haven't had your first dose, come on down to the drive through. We'd be really pleased to see you down there," he said.
At the Free Wesleyan Church Of Tonga in Favona a three-day mass vaccination event catering for Auckland's Tongan community was also in its second day.
Go-ahead for RSE workers
One way quarantine-free travel of seasonal workers from Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu will start from next month.
The cap for workers will remain at 14,400.
Workers will need to have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, complete a period of self-isolation on arrival and return a negative day zero and day five covid-19 test.
Both Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor say a cautious approach is being taken to opening up quarantine-free travel with the Pacific.
O'Connor says they're starting with RSE workers because they come to New Zealand as a group, and stay in employer-arranged accommodation.
Auckland Hospital tightens visitor rules
Visitor rules at Auckland Hospital have been tightened following an outcry from staff, patients and unions.
It was allowing two people per patient but that has changed to just one person for a maximum of two hours.
Auckland Hospital is also making it clearer to nurses and doctors which managers they could complain to if members of the public were breaching the rules.