Coronavirus: NZ to remain at alert level 2, while Auckland and Waikato remain at alert level 3

Publish Date
Monday, 4 October 2021, 4:11PM

The Prime Minister has revealed Auckland will remain at alert level 3, but several key changes will occur.

Jacinda Ardern has promised a three step plan to end Covid restrictions in Auckland.

From 11.59pm Tuesday, bubbles will be able to mix, but only outdoors and with some restrictions still in place.

"From 11.59pm Tuesday, Auckland will remain in Alert Level 3 but several key changes will occur. People will be able to connect with loved ones OUTDOORS with no more than two households at a time, up to a maximum of 10 people; early childhood education will return for all; and people can move around Auckland for recreation such as beach visits and hunting," Ardern said.

The second step will allow more retail to open, under a hybrid level 2.

"At step two retail will open their doors, with the usual measures of wearing facemasks and keeping up physical distancing; public facilities such as pools and zoos will open; and the number of people who can meet OUTDOORS will increase to 25," Ardern said.

Ardern did not give a date for when this "step" would begin, but it will be reviewed next Monday 11 October.

The final step would be similar to what is currently known as "delta level 2".

"Step three will bring back those higher risk settings. Hospitality will open – seated, separated and with a limit of 50; close contact businesses like hairdressers will also open with mask use and physical distancing; and gatherings will also then extend to 50," Ardern said.

"Cabinet will review each step weekly to ensure it's safe to move before confirming the next step.

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Raglan, Te Kauwhata, Huntly, Ngāruawāhia, and Hamilton City in Waikato are also at alert level three for at least five days as officials tested for further spread in those areas, following the discovery of two COVID-19 cases.

The level 3 easing would not apply to the Waikato regions.

While the rest of New Zealand will remain at alert level 2.

Cabinet met this afternoon to decide on any alert level changes, as 29 new community cases were announced.

The total number of cases in this community outbreak is 1,357.

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