20 Sep 2021

What you need to know: Updated alert levels for Auckland, Waikato, rest of NZ

9:12 pm on 20 September 2021

The Delta outbreak in New Zealand has meant Covid-19 alert level restrictions are constantly being tweaked to keep the spread under control.

Police at Auckland's Mercer border checkpoint

Police and military personnel check vehicles leaving Auckland at a Covid-19 checkpoint setup at the southern boundary. Photo: RNZ / Liu Chen

Today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Cabinet's decision on alert level changes for Auckland, a community in the Waikato, and the rest of New Zealand.

Here's what they mean.

Auckland moves to alert level 3

From 11.59pm Tuesday 21 September, Auckland will move to level 3 for at least two weeks. The decision will be reviewed on Monday 4 October.

People must keep their bubble small and work from home if possible.

If necessary, the bubble can be expanded only to bring in close family, elderly relatives or caregivers.

Friends, neighbours, whānau and extended family who are not part of a bubble cannot be visited.

Schools are largely closed and children should continue to learn from home. But in the case that is not possible, masks are mandatory at high schools.

Even those who have been vaccinated must follow the same rules.

People over 65 should stay home until they have been vaccinated. Those who are more vulnerable including over-65s can request a shorter timeframe between doses.

Face coverings are mandatory on public transport, inside retail businesses and public venues for those 12 years or over.

Some businesses and services can have customers on their premises. They include supermarkets, dairies, butchers, fishmongers, greengrocers, food banks, petrol stations, self-service laundries, banks and financial institutions, hardware stores - for trade customers only, health services, pharmacies, accommodation services, courts and tribunals, social and community-based services to maintain critical wellbeing or crisis support, emergency services, parliamentary services, passenger services - including public transport by road, rail, air or sea and school hostels.

All other retail stores can only open for contactless pick-up and delivery.

Up to 10 people can attend a funeral, tangihanga or burial. The 10-person limit includes kaikaranga, kaikōrero, members of the clergy or staff who are attending. Physical distancing and face masks are recommended.

Bespoke alert level 4 in the Waikato

Three new cases of Delta were reported in Whakatīwai.

For five days, a Section 70 notice is in place for people living in an area north of SH2 and centred on Mangatangi.

That extends the road boundary to the east of Maramarua and the southeast of Miranda on the Firth of Thames.

People who work, live or have visited people in that area since 8 September must stay at home and monitor for symptoms.

People in that region should monitor the ministry's website for locations of interest and seek testing if they have been in those places at the appropriate time.

A map of the northern Hauraki area covered by the "bespoke" lockdown, to the left of the main Auckland boundary and outlined in blue.

A map of the northern Hauraki area covered by the "bespoke" lockdown, to the left of the main Auckland boundary and outlined in blue. Photo: Supplied / Ministry of Health

Rest of NZ remains at level 2 with minor change

The rest of the country will stay at alert level 2 but will move from gatherings of 50 to gatherings of up to 100.

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