Traffic queues as lockdown looms; Tāmaki Covid-19 community case visited Coromandel - PM

updated By Will Trafford

Traffic is building on the motorways out of Tāmaki Makaurau ahead of the Level 4 Lockdown which goes into force at midnight tonight.

A positive case of Covid-19 in Tamaki Makaurau has triggered a three-day nationwide lockdown.

“We are assuming we have a case of Delta that we are dealing with," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a press conference this evening.

"Delta is potentially twice as infectious and more likely to cause serious illness.

“That has shaped the decisions we have made this afternoon,” she said.

As of 11:59pm tonight all of Aotearoa will move to Covid-19 alert level 4. The case has travelled between Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula and Ardern says it is likely those regions will stay in Alert Level 4 for seven days.

Ardern told the nation the lockdown was essential to continue Aotearoa’s strategy to "contain and stamp out Covid-19".

23 locations of interest

Health director-general Ashley Bloomfield said the positive case was a 58-year-old man from Devonport on Auckland’s North Shore.

The man went to his local GP clinic yesterday and health officials were alerted to the positive result shortly after noon today.

The man is not vaccinated.

Bloomfield told media a primary concern of the case is "there is no obvious link between this case and the border."

He said the man lived with his wife and while she had tested negative as of yesterday, the couple travelled to the Coromandel township over the weekend.

Bloomfield said there were 23 locations of interest (detailed below). Thirteen were in the Coromandel and 10 more were in Auckland.

'Crowded pub'

One of the locations was a "crowded pub" called the Star & Garter in Coromandel Township. Patrons were watching the All Blacks- Wallabies rugby test and so those people could be "anywhere around the country" according to Bloomfield.

Pub manager Mariya Kravchenko told NZME there "would have been about 70 to 80 people on each night".

Star Garter Hotel in Coromandel township visited by the Covid-19 case on Saturday evening to watch the All Blacks - Wallabies Test.

Star & Garter Hotel in Coromandel Township visited by the Covid-19 case on Saturday evening to watch the All Blacks - Wallabies Test. Photo / Christian Michel

Anyone who has been to any of the locations during the timeframe identified was instructed to self-isolate immediately and contact Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for more information.

Auckland Regional Public Health has interviewed the couple for contact tracing purposes. Bloomfield said plans were underway to transfer them to the Jet Park Quarantine facility.

Genome sequencing of the positive case is taking place at the ESR laboratory in Auckland. Confirmation of the strain and epidemiological links to border cases will be available sometime tomorrow.

Ardern said Delta was a game-changer. Citing the spiralling outbreak in Australia, she emphasised the importance to lock down hard and fast.

"We are one of the last countries in the world to have the Delta variant in our community. This has given us the chance to learn from others," she said.

Wear a mask

"We only get one chance," she said.

Traffic builds out of Tāmaki as level 4 lockdown looms.

Traffic builds out of Tāmaki as level 4 lockdown looms. Photo / Will Trafford

The prime minister reminded the nation of Alert level 4 settings, saying people can leave their whare for physical exercise in their local area, visiting the supermarket, dairy or pharmacy, necessary medical care, or getting a test. 

Economic support will be made available.

"Please wear a mask when leaving the house," she said.

The Ministry of Health has requested anyone travelling on public transport in Tāmaki tonight to wear a mask.

The PM says there is a 48-hour period for people to return home and for those living alone to join the bubble of someone else also living alone. 

It is preferable that only one person per household did food shopping. Ardern said.

"One of the worst things about Covid-19 is the absolute uncertainty it creates, but we know this strategy works, and we know life will get easier. We just need to keep going."

Ardern said the priorities for the coming days were to "assess if there is transmission elsewhere and to track the origin of the case."

Places of interest

Coromandel

• Star and Garter Hotel (5 Kapanga Rd) - August 13 between 6.39pm - 7.40pm
• Umu Cafe (22 Wharf Rd) - August 13 between 7.40pm - 8.30pm
• BP Gas Station (Tiki Rd) - August 14 between 9.30am - 9.40am
• Driving Creek Railway Tours (380 Driving Creek Rd) - August 14 between 10.30am - 10.50am
• Jaks Cafe & Bar (104 Kapanga Rd) - August 14 between 10.50am - 11.30am
• Hereford 'n' a Pickle (2318 Colville Rd, RD 4, Colville) - August 14 between 1.25pm - 2.15pm
• Taras Beads (1/75 Kapanga Rd) - August 14 between 3pm - 3.10pm
• Richardsons Real Estate (151 Kapanga Rd) - August 14 between 3.30pm - 3.35pm
• Umu Cafe (22 Wharf Rd) - August 14 between 6.17pm - 7.11pm
• Star and Garter Hotel (5 Kapanga Rd) - August 14 between 7.11pm - 9.00pm
• Taras Beads (1/75 Kapanga Rd) - August 15 between 10am - 10.05am
• Umu Cafe (22 Wharf Rd) - August 15 between 10.14am - 11.10am

Thames

• Woodturner Café (3815 State Highway 2) - August 15 between 12.40pm - 1.25pm

Tāmaki Makaurau

• Crumb Grey Lynn (Ariki St) - August 12 between 10am - 10.10am
• Devonport Pharmacy (33 Victoria Rd) - August 16 between 2.15pm - 2.30pm

Ministry of Health officials say moreTāmaki locations will be available shortly.