Cabinet has confirmed that the rest of New Zealand south of Auckland will move to alert level 3 from 11:59pm tomorrow, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Monday afternoon.
Auckland will remain at alert level 4 for another two weeks, which will be reviewed on Monday, 13 September.
In Northland, Covid-19 testing and wastewater results are expected for Thursday, 2 September. Ardern said if these are clear, Northland will remove to alert level 3 on Thursday night.
Ardern says they are seeing level 4 is making a difference, but that “the job is not yet done.”
New Zealand reported 53 new cases of Covid-19 in the community today, all in Auckland. This brings the total number of cases in the outbreak to 562.
Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said it is still early, but that the drop in numbers is an “encouraging sign”. 28 per cent of cases are considered to be infectious in the community, which could have been a visit to the supermarket or being an essential worker.
NSW reports record-breaking 1290 new cases
Meanwhile, New South Wales has reported 1290 new locally acquired cases of Covid-19, and four deaths. This is the highest daily record for the state.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she expected October to be the “worst month” for the state.
“October is likely to be our worse month in terms of pressure on the system and that is why we have been gearing up for that and we have been nearly two years. Our hospital system is under pressure. Will we need to do things differently? Of course, we will.”
Berejiklian stressed the importance of vaccination. “Vaccination is the key in terms of our freedom and reducing the spread of the virus.”
She pointed to the “outstanding result” of 6.8 million jabs administered in the state, adding that they could reach the goal of 70 per cent single-dose vaccination this week.
Last week, the Premier announced new freedoms for vaccinated people on 13 September.
People who do not live in a local government area (LGA) of concern will be allowed to have outdoor gatherings of up to five vaccinated people within 5km of their home. This can also include children as long as the adults are inoculated.