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Ardern announces extended lockdown for Auckland

Ardern announces extended lockdown for Auckland

Ardern announces extended lockdown for Auckland

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced Level 3 restrictions currently in place in Auckland will be extended until 11.59pm Sunday.

The rest of New Zealand will remain at Level 2.

The prime minister announced there would be a phased move to a lower level for Auckland, with the city to be at a tighter Level 2 from Monday.

She said after midnight on Sunday, schools, hospitality and retail in Auckland will be able to reopen but there will still be a limit on mass gatherings.

Gatherings will be limited to 10 people with the exception of funerals and tangihanga, which will have a 50-person limit.

The Level 2 settings will be in place in Auckland and the rest of New Zealand one week from Sunday, and reviewed on Sunday 6 September.

Face masks will be mandatory from Monday on public transport for Level 2 and above.

The announcement comes following a Cabinet meeting in which ministers determined the next steps in managing the reemergence of COVID in New Zealand.

Auckland entered Level 3 and the rest of the country went into Level 2 at midday on Wednesday last week.

The restrictions were set to be in place until 11.59pm this Wednesday.

Ardern said the perimeter of the community cluster in Auckland needed to be well understood and defined, and she believes confidence can be built over  this week.

“This is a contained cluster but it is our biggest one and that means the tail will be long and the cases will keep coming for a while to come,” Ardern said.

The prime minister noted it took more than 12 weeks to close the largest cluster seen in New Zealand in the first wave of COVID-19.

She said that the country needs to put itself in the best long-term position to manage it successfully and in the most contained way possible.

“If any one country knows how to bounce back, it is us,” Ardern said.

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