As many countries around the world continue to battle with a COVID-19 pandemic, Auckland is this week adjusting to “level 2.5” living.

Following an announcement from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Sunday 30th August, Auckland moved out of lockdown and into another “new normal” from Monday morning – with roadblocks lifted and masks donned for public transport commuters and many workers.

But concerns remain as the COVID cluster that plunged the city into level 3 continues to grow. Ardern warned that she expected the Auckland cluster to get larger and that the tail of new cases “will be long”.

Instead of moving Auckland straight from level 3 to level 2, Ardern announced Auckland would be in a state she described as “level 2.5”. This is not an official alert level, rather a heightened version of the level 2 Auckland has already experienced.

Mask use is encouraged outside of home and will be mandatory across the country for all those using public transport and planes, if they are over 12 years of age.

The move out of lockdown will be welcome news to many Aucklanders, businesses and the hospitality industry in particular, who have been in level 3 for close to 20 days.

At Alert Level 2.5. gatherings are capped at 10 people and authorised funerals and tangihanga at 50, within the Auckland region.

Cabinet will review the country’s settings again on Friday and another announcement around Alert levels is expected by 6th September.

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