This is excellent news.
Auckland has returned to alert level one for Covid-19 restrictions. From midnight on Monday (February 22), Auckland’s levels have relaxed after being placed in alert level three last week due to a new outbreak of Covid-19.
This comes after 72,000 tests were carried out from last weekend, with the eight community cases linked together and their close contacts tested negative.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has stressed that everyone in New Zealand must, however, continue to wear face-masks while taking public transport. All taxi drivers are also asked to use face-coverings while working.
The Prime Minister said the outbreak was “a stark reminder” that Covid is still with us.
Covid-19 modeller Professor Shaun Hendy said: “The week started with the announcement that there with new community cases with only a weak link to the border, much like the Auckland August cluster did.
“The whole genome sequencing then told us that there was no direct link to any known case at the border, but also that we were dealing with one of the new, more transmissible variants.
“However, a massive test and trace effort quickly contained the relatively small number of secondary cases and gave reassurance that we were not looking at the edges of a much larger cluster like the one we uncovered in August.”
Auckland’s Mayor Phil Goff welcomed the government’s decision, and expressed relief that events such as the Auckland Lantern Festival could go ahead once again.