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LIVE COVID updates: NZ prepares to move to level 2

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the announcement last night.

Auckland moves to level 3 lockdown and the rest of the country to level 2 at midday after four cases of COVID-19 outside managed isolation.

The Prime Minister has announced four confirmed cases of COVID-19 in one family from an unknown source last night.

The index case is a person in their 50s who lives in South Auckland.

“They were swabbed yesterday, and the swab was processed twice,” says a Ministry of Health spokesperson. “A second swab, taken today confirms the positive result.”

The person has been symptomatic for five days and was interviewed this evening by the Auckland Regional Public Health Service.

The Ministry of Health says that the person has no overseas travel history.

“As is our usual protocol we are continuing to trace close and casual contacts of this person and test them for COVID-19."

Countdown’s General Manager Health & Safety Kiri Hannifin says the news about four COVID cases in Auckland is obviously concerning for all.

"We are well practiced in what needs to be done in our stores to keep our team and our customers safe.

"Over the next few hours, we’ll be working to bring our Level 3 measures into place in Auckland, and Level 2 measures throughout the rest of the country.

"This will include physical distancing measures in our stores, limits on customer numbers, limits on some products, queue control and extra cleaning.

"We’d echo the Prime Minister’s comments that there is no need at all for anyone to stock up - we have plenty of food and supplies for everyone and we want everyone to shop as they usually would and consider others.

"We have done this before and we can do it again - look out for each other, be kind and stay safe."

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