Auckland to Alert Level 2, rest of country Level 1 from Sunday

By Te Ao - Māori News

Auckland mayor Phil Goff is still seeking priority for Aucklanders for the Covid-19 vaccine

Auckland mayor Phil Goff says the government’s decision to move Auckland to Alert Level 2 from 6am on Sunday will be welcome news for all Aucklanders.

He was commenting after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the cabinet had decided to move Auckland to Level 2 from 6am on Sunday and the rest of the country to Level 1.

Goff emphasised that Friday and Saturday were not a time to go partying before the change on Saturday.

“Please, stay home and follow the rules.”

Goff said the government moving strongly and quickly to contain this outbreak had once again proved effective in stopping the spread of community transmission “and I thank all the Aucklanders who have followed the rules of Level 3 over the past week,” he says.

“This cooperation has helped to ensure that the initial cases detected in the community have not spread any further, meaning that we can now step down alert levels and return to a more normal level of activity.

Cautious optimism

Meanwhile, Ardern said the cabinet would consider at the end of this week moving Auckland up to Alert Level 1 at the start of next weekend.

Goff said with the vaccine rollout now underway there was a lot to be hopeful for.

And he argued that given this is Auckland’s fourth lockdown, the vaccination of Aucklanders needed to be prioritised over areas less impacted by the virus and I will continue to advocate to government for this.

“The vaccine has been administered to millions of people worldwide and has proven safe and effective. I would encourage all Aucklanders to take advantage of it when it becomes available.

Meanwhile health director-general Dr Ashley Bloomfield today began to use his powers under section 70 of the Health Act.

He told a media conference that he would require people who attended the City Fitness Gym and any people classified as close plus, close or casual plus to comply with three requirements.

Down to 10

They were to isolate at home as specified by the medical officer of health, take a Covid-19 test as required and remain in isolation until the result of the rest was known.

He said there were only 10 people with no results from tests – of those two had not yet been found. He said those two were from a February 20 visit to the gym and so would be isolated when found.

Bloomfield again praised South Auckland, particularly the leadership of Papatoetoe High School for the quality of leadership, during the lockdown.