The government has extended Auckland’s Covid Alert Level 3 and the rest of the country’s Alert Level 2 for an additional 12 days after a Cabinet meeting this afternoon.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield have just announced the decision at a briefing at the Beehive theatrette.
The restrictions will be reviewed on 23 August.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says there are signs the latest cluster has been found “early in its life”.
Addressing media she said earliest case to date is a worker at Americold who first become sick on 31 July.
“It’s the earliest sign of the re-emergence,” she said.
The source was still not clear, Ardern said. Genome sequencing suggested the strain was new to New Zealand, not a dormant or quietly burning strain in the community.
The government is set to announce what will happen next with the country’s alert level status, after a Cabinet meeting this afternoon.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield are set to share the decision at a briefing at the Beehive theatrette at 5.30pm.
“There is nothing to suggest we need to move to a level 4 lockdown at this stage,” Ardern said.
“Cabinet also does not want Auckland to be in level 3 any longer than is needed to ensure the outbreak is contained.
“The best economic response is a strong health response.”
It was important to remember that level 2 would allow for more economic activity than level 4, she said.
“We will use what tools we have to protect jobs, incomes and businesses as well as people’s health.”
Watch the PM’s announcement live here:
A record number of covid-19 tests have been processed in a single day, as demand for tests in the Auckland rises significantly.
There were 15,703 tests processed in the country yesterday, bringing the total number of tests to date to more than 524,000.
There are now 16 stations in the Auckland region for people to get tested.
The Director General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, says it is important to note only people with coronavirus symptoms are being tested, to make sure the focus is on those who are highest risk.
He says those who arrive at testing facilities without symptoms may be turned away.