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Ardern announces easing of restrictions for Auckland: what you need to know

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions for Auckland.

Ardern announces easing of restrictions for Auckland: what you need to know

The government will be moving away from its ‘elimination’ strategy to a transitioning approach that focusses on vaccination with less restrictions.

The 3-part road map for Auckland is expected to be rolled out over the next few weeks. Ardern said there is no date for the second and third steps, but these will be reviewed weekly.

Firstly, from Tuesday, 5 October 11.59 pm, Auckland will remain at level 3 with key changes. People will be able to connect with family and friends, but only outside. This means Aucklanders can meet another household outside with a cap of no more than 10 people. This is restricted to one household at a time. “Keep it outside,” stressed Ardern.

Daycares and early learning centres can welcome children back, with limits up to 10. Aucklanders can also move around the region for recreation, such as beach visits and hunting.

In step two, retail can open again, as well as public facilities, such as libraries and zoos. Outdoor meet-ups will be expanded to a limit of 25 people.

Step three will see hospitality and close contact businesses, such as hairdressers, open, with restrictions to 50 people and social distancing and mask-wearing in place.

Ardern says schools will be able to return after the school holidays in 18 October, with a range of precautions in place.

The wage subsidy will remain in place during this rollout of these phases.

The easing of the restrictions will not extend to the northwest Waikato region.

Ardern said vaccine certificates will likely be used in the future in regards to large-scale events. The details on that plan will be announced next week.

84 per cent of Aucklanders are have had their first dose of the vaccine. Ardern also noted that only 3 per cent of cases in the current outbreak were fully vaccinated. The government aims to have at least 90 per cent of the population vaccinated.

29 new community cases of Covid-19 were reported today, 28 in Auckland and one in the Waikato.

It comes after yesterday’s announcement of a snap level 3 lockdown for parts of the Waikato for five days, after cases were reported in Hamilton and Raglan. Three household contacts from the Raglan case are also positive, which will be included in tomorrow’s list.

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