Auckland to remain in Alert Level 2.5, rest of the country in level 2

By Jessica Tyson

Auckland will remain at Alert Level 2.5 with a review in 10 days on September 14.

The rest of the country will remain at level 2, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said during a media conference today.

"At this stage, the Auckland cluster remains contained and there is no indication at this stage that Auckland needs, for instance, to move back to level three," says Ardern.

Currently, there are 82 people linked to the Auckland cluster who have been transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility, including 59 people who have tested positive and their household contacts.

As well as that 3,191 close contacts of cases have been identified including 3,136 who have been contacted and are self-isolating.

"The economic response remains a strong health response. If we get it right we ultimately shake off restrictions faster and lessen the risk of bouncing around," says Ardern.

Auckland has been in level 2.5 since August Sunday 30 while the rest of the country has been in level 2 since August 12. Ardern says lockdown must always be the last resort.

"We do not want Auckland or rest of the country pinging in and out of level 3. Staying on track to restrictions with confidence does mean taking a cautious approach now. That is what we have done consistently in our elimination strategy and it's one cabinet has decided to continue."

The review will take place on Monday, September 14. If, at that time, a change in alert levels is made it will be time to take effect on 11.59pm on Wednesday 16 of September, says Ardern.