NZ Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern

There were 24 new Covid-19 cases in the Auckland community on Sunday, another increase in the daily cases of infections, just before the Government’s big alert-level decision. Three cases of Covid were also confirmed in the North Waikato region on Sunday afternoon and people living in the affected area (or who have visited the affected area) have been asked to stay at home and monitor for symptoms. Northern parts of Waikato, near where the cases were, have been issued a Section 70 health order, meaning they will be under lockdown conditions until Friday. A pop-up testing centre is set up at the Wharekawa Marae in Whakatīwai.

Cabinet announced that, after nearly five weeks in lockdown, Auckland could cautiously move out of level 4 to level 3, while the rest of the country will need to adhere to level 2 settings. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that Auckland would move to level 3 at 11.59pm on Tuesday, September 21. She advised that everybody in the Auckland region needs to still “keep their bubble tight and exclusive.” There were 22 new community cases on Monday 20th September, plus one case at the border.

An alert level change was eagerly anticipated by businesses all over New Zealand, which have been affected by the recent restrictions following the Delta outbreak in August. Another review of alert levels will happen on Monday 4th October.

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Travel for permitted workers

Meanwhile, workers on permitted essential business travel through the Auckland border checkpoints are now required to produce evidence of a Covid-19 test taken in the prior seven days.

Permitted workers planning to cross the alert level boundary in or out of Auckland must carry evidence that they have had a Covid-19 test, or a medical certificate verifying they do not have Covid-19 symptoms or any reason they were unable to take a test.

Permitted workers must also continue to carry photo identification and evidence for their reason for crossing the boundary.

For international travellers, a pause on managed isolation bookings will be lifted from 20th September, starting with 3000 rooms released through a new randomised booking system for MIQ rooms.

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