PM asks Aucklanders to apply new 'alert level 2.5' rules wherever they go in NZ

By Te Ao - Māori News

Prime Minister Jacinda Arden has urged New Zealanders - and Aucklanders in particular - to follow the rules that come into place at midnight Sunday.

"Our system is good, it is designed to keep us on track with our elimination strategy at level 2 in the scenario we now have. But it will only work if people follow the guidance," Ardern said at a press conference in Wellington on Sunday afternoon.

"I understand that it is easy to become complacent, that if you hear a message that there are for instance, as we did today, two cases you may question what the likelihood is of you coming into contact with those two cases. Everyone I'm sure who has experienced Covid-19 probably thought that same thing at some point until it was them."

Ardern had a particular message for Aucklanders.

"There is no corner (of Auckland) that has been untouched by this cluster. That's why the rules are for everyone and we need everyone to stick to them, no matter where in Auckland you are. "

While New Zealand as a whole will remain at level 2., Ardern said Auckland would move to "level 2.5".

Masks will be compulsory on public transport across the country for anyone 12 years and older.

"On masks generally, please wear them Auckland. Basically, when you step out of your home we are asking you if you can please wear a mask."

In Auckland, social gatherings are limited to 10 people and there is a limit of 50 people for a funeral or tangihanga. Strict settings have also been put in place for aged care facilities in the city.

Arden said Aucklanders should adhere to these rules even when they travel outside the region to other parts of the country.

"These aren't just rules for the city of Auckland, these are guidelines for Aucklanders. We are asking you to apply them wherever you are in the country.," she said.

"If you are an Aucklander please don't just pop into an aged care facility no matter where it is in the country. Please don't attend a mass gathering even if it's not in Auckland and if you are sick stay home, definitely don't travel. 

"Our testing shows it is highly unlikely there is Covid anywhere else in the country and we want to keep it that way. The last thing we want from reopening Auckland is to spread the virus around the country and it is one of the reasons we continue to have level 2 settings across the country."