Auckland has entered a three-day lockdown after the country reported four new cases of coronavirus in the community.
It comes after New Zealand had reached more than 100 days without any new cases of COVID-19. The four new cases are all members of a single family.
In a press conference on Tuesday night, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a three-day level 3 lockdown of the Auckland region. The rest of the country will move to level two.
As of 12 noon Wednesday August 12 Auckland will move to level 3 for a period of three days, until midnight on Friday.
“Three days will give us time to assess the situation and gather information, including contact tracing, so we can find out more about how the case arose and make decisions of how to respond after that,” the Prime Minister said.
Auckland’s lockdown area is based around the Super City, which extends from Wellsford in the North to Pukekohe in the south.
At level 3 New Zealanders are asked to stay at home in their ‘bubble’ other than for essential movements such as going to the supermarket or local recreation. If you are in Auckland, you must work from home unless you are an essential service worker.
All schools and childcare facilities in Auckland are closed as of Wednesday morning except for the children of essential service workers. All public facilities, bars, restaurants and businesses must close by midday Wednesday.
Gatherings of more than 10 people in Auckland are not allowed and are restricted to funerals, tangihanga and wedding services only. In the rest of the country gathering are restricted to 100 people with physical distancing requirements back in place.
All key services including supermarkets, pharmacies, and medical centres will remain open so food and supplies will be continue to be readily available. Food delivery is also available at level 3.
“If you operated as an essential service under level 4 and 3 last time then you; recall reverting to those settings again. If in doubt stay at home tomorrow until you have clarity from your employer.”
The rest of the country, outside of Auckland, will move to level 2. This will come into place from midday Wednesday, and run through till midnight on Friday.
That means social distancing applies, and mass gatherings in that time will need to be limited to 100 people, as will all of the other guidance at level two.
“While this initial 3-day lockdown will mainly affect the Auckland region, I am asking the team of 5 million to stand ready again,” Ardern said.
“Together we have beaten the virus before and with fast action, and by acting together, we can do so again.
“We have come too far to go backwards.”
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