Auckland will go to alert level 3 starting at 11:59 pm Tuesday night and will remain at level 3 for at least two weeks, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced.
Check out the announcement here:
The rest of the country will remain at level 2, but the meetings will increase from 50 to 100.
Meanwhile, part of northern Waikato has received a section 70 order, requiring people who live or work there to stay home.
“We will not move out of level 4 because the job is done, but we will not move either because we do not believe we can achieve the goal of ending Covid-19; we are moving because level 3 still provides a cautious approach as we continue to eliminate Covid-19. Ardern said.
“It means staying in your bubble, it means contactless transactions and keeping your distance. It means we thank Auckland for their tireless work, and collectively we continue.”
There are currently 22 new cases, most of them in the home or known contacts. Five are unrelated and three of them are within a family, and there is a tentative link for that family, Ardern said.
Three of the new cases are in Whakatīwai, but they are counted in the Auckland total. Ardern said the tests so far have included household contacts, correctional personnel, police personnel, court personnel, and 300 swabs have already been taken in the small community.
“We want to make sure we keep the community safe,” he said.
Chief Health Officer Dr. Ashley Bloomfield said he was issuing a section 70 order requiring people who live or work in the area around Mangatangi, North Waikato, to stay home. Ardern said that it was indeed a “custom level 4”.
Bloomfield said the order was for people living in an area north of SH2 centered on Mangatangi.
“That will effectively extend the highway boundary east of Maramarúa … and also southeast of Miranda on the Thames Fjord.”
Officials trust that there is no widespread transmission
Ardern said Level 4 had been difficult, but it had also made a difference.
Almost all of the cases in the past 14 days have been known or family contacts, and sewage testing suggests no significant undetected transmission.
There have been no widespread clusters in workplaces and, of the cases where a link has been established, none have resulted from people accessing essential services.
The protections are still in effect at level 3, he said.
“That remains critical and we ask everyone to play their part … we are moving now because the advice we have is that we do not have widespread broadcast in Auckland, if everyone continues to play their part we can eradicate it.”
Bloomfield said the ministry is confident there will be no widespread undetected transmission. The difference with level 3 this time is that it comes with high and increasing levels of vaccination, he said.
Ardern reminded people that at level 3 they can make minor changes to the bubbles, such as bringing in an elderly relative who is not part of another bubble, but should not visit friends or break bubbles.
“Once in a home, everyone is at risk of contracting Detla, so if you break the bubble, know that the consequence may be the spread of Covid to your home to your loved ones,” Ardern said.
Level 3 schools are mostly closed. The cabinet has made the decision to make masks mandatory in high schools at alert level 3, Ardern said.
People attending an essential service must also wear a mask, and people are encouraged to do so whenever they leave their home.
Aucklanders over 65 and unvaccinated asked to stay home
People over 65 in Auckland should stay home until they have been vaccinated, he said.
“We have been making direct contact with all of our over 65s who have yet to get their first dose in Auckland. That works out to about 23,000 people.
“Last week a letter was sent to those over 65 about whom we had details. Today we started an outbound call campaign … these will have an average of 8000 calls a day.”
People with a reservation in the future can advance it, he said, adding that pharmacies are offering delivery services, as are supermarkets.
Ardern said the government will dig a little deeper this week on what the model shows in terms of how much vaccination is required and what effect it may have on restrictions.
Bloomfield said Auckland residents have supported and will continue to support the effort, and “secondly, we will see the ongoing vaccination in Auckland and we are very close to reaching 80 percent of the people in Tāmaki Makaurau who have received a first dose. and, of course, our goal. ” now is to intensify our efforts, to get it even higher as quickly as possible. “
Bloomfield said the model suggests Auckland can vaccinate 90 percent of eligible people by early October.
People crossing the border for personal reasons must now undergo the test
Bloomfield said the r-value is still believed to be “well below one.”
The ministry hopes to be able to publish how many cases are expected each day, based on the size of the families involved and the conversion rate, he said.
Ardern said that despite best efforts, people still sometimes use legitimate means to cross borders, which is part of the reason higher alert levels are needed in the rest of the country.
“We are not a country where you can easily build a wall around a part of our country, we are a very mobile nation and we have done everything possible to try to restrict that movement, but you will have seen it with the case we had in which someone was a truck driver, a legitimate purpose, in which he got infected with Covid. “
People who cross the boundary for personal reasons are now required to bring proof of having taken a test in the last seven days. Exemptions are available through the Ministry of Health.