Aucklanders can breathe a sigh of relief stepping down to Alert Level 3, but for a small community in Waikato it’s back to Alert Level 4, for now
Cabinet has decided to move Auckland out of lockdown at 11.59pm on Tuesday after it received advice that there is “no significant undetected community transmission”.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says Level 3 means “caution” for Auckland and because Level 4 has achieved containment of Covid-19, stepping down will still provide the “strict rules to help us keep up the work”.
For those in Auckland who are over the age of 65 and not yet vaccinated, Ardern has asked that they stay home until they receive that “extra layer of protection”.
There are roughly 23,000 people in that category and work is being done to contact them and persuade them to go and get vaccinated.
For the Mangatangi community to the east of Maramarua and the southeast of Miranda on the firth of Thames, a section 70 order has been put in place extending the road boundary currently around Auckland.
This area, under the advice of the Director-General of Health Doctor Ashley Bloomfield, is in a “bespoke Level 4” arrangement for five days.
That means getting tested, staying home, and monitoring symptoms until that deadline is up.
Bloomfield has put the health order in place, in addition to a boundary, to not only capture those who live in the area where three cases of Covid-19 were detected on Sunday, but also those who travel in and out of the area.
“Those who live or work in the region, or have visited since September 8 need to stay home and monitor symptoms,” he said.
Auckland will stay in Level 3 for two weeks at this stage with a review on Monday October 4.
As for the rest of the country, while Auckland and part of the Waikato are in level 3 and 4, everyone else has to stay at a beefed up Delta Level 2.
However, as indicated last week, the number of people allowed in hospitality venues will increase from 50 to 100 people.
Ardern said the decision to move Auckland down to Level 3, despite another 22 cases today, is because the features of that level still do the job needed currently.
Specifically, bubbles remain tight, she said.
While there have been confirmed cases found amongst people who have been out in the community, Ardern said masks and social distancing in places like supermarkets and pharmacies have prevented transmission.
Auckland will have spent 35 days in Level 4 lockdown when it lifts on Tuesday night – the longest at that level the country has seen.
On Sunday Ardern said she took into consideration the impact lockdown was having on those living in the largest city and whether there would be issues of compliance if it continued.
Previously the Prime Minister has tended to refer to decisions being based solely on health advice.