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Live: Waikato and Auckland to stay at level 3

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. Photo: RNZ.

Parts of the Waikato and Auckland will remain at Alert Level 3 while Northland will move to Alert Level 2 at 11.59pm tomorrow.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has made the announcement at a post-Cabinet briefing this afternoon.

She confirmed the rest of New Zealand will remain at Alert Level 2 as well.

Waikato’s alert level will be reviewed on Friday and Auckland will remain at its current alert level settings for another two weeks.

She says in Waikato there have been further cases and positive wastewater tests so it’s important to act with caution.

Ardern acknowledges it’s been a long time to be living with restrictions In Auckland.

"But those restrictions have made a huge difference, they've helped us to keep case numbers as low as possible while we continue to vaccinate people.

"We need to keep going with both tools: our restrictions and vaccinations, because with Delta we cannot rely on just one.

"If we get this right, if we keep case numbers low while we vaccinate people, then it makes it easier for us to keep control of Covid while we ease restrictions in the future."

She says there are cases in 124 suburbs across the entire geographical area of Auckland.

Ardern reiterated the importance of sticking to the alert level rules.

“The rules are there to help us through this critical phase.”

Indoor gatherings are not part of Alert Level 3, she says.

Social interaction outside of your bubble is only allowed outdoors and people must wear a mask and be socially distanced, says Ardern.

“Restrictions are the best way to suppress or minimise case while we work towards high vaccination rates.”

The Prime Minister also announced that they will outline the Covid-19 Protection Framework on Friday.

The framework will detail what life will be like once high vaccination rates have been achieved.

A vaccination target or milestone will also be announced.

“The target will be high,” says Ardern.

EARLIER: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will give a post-cabinet announcement today at 4pm.

The Prime Minister will be joined by Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

Cabinet will today review the alert level 3 settings for Auckland, Northland and parts of Waikato.

It's understood ministers will also consider a traffic light-like system New Zealand could move to once the population is highly vaccinated.

It could mark the next phase, away from using alert level restrictions, to a mix of protective measures in the event of outbreaks.

That could include mask use, gathering limits, social distancing, proof of vaccination and scanning.

It could be some months before it would be ready to be implemented.

The government's repeatedly said high vaccination and testing rates will help towards easing restrictions.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield told RNZ current modelling showed it would take Auckland just over a month before 90 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated.

Just over 70 per cent is now fully vaccinated, with close to 90 per cent having had one dose.

There were 92 community cases over the weekend, five in Waikato and the rest in Auckland.

Of Sunday's 51 community cases, 23 were unlinked.

One is in Hamilton and one has an address in nearby Kihikihi, which officials say may have been the source of wastewater detections in Te Awamutu.

Tune into the livestream above to see what the decision will be.

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3 Comments
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RE: the 8,000 projection

Posted on 19-10-2021 10:38 | By SonnyJim

7-8,000 worst-case deaths scenario is entirely possible if people don’t get their second shot. One-shot people are far less protected from Covid and risk sickness or death along with the un-vaccinated.

Experts

Posted on 19-10-2021 07:26 | By

Professor Mumbling Modeller said Northland had “dodged a bullet” lol. No cases despite super infectious people going on a road trip. A couple of weeks ago he was saying New Zealand would have 8000 deaths per year. Yeah right.

Murupara's quandary

Posted on 18-10-2021 21:48 | By SonnyJim

I see there is resistance in Murupara to the Covid vaccine. I trust the locals there have a plan for when Covid comes to town and potentially wrecks their community. Covid will spread like a ti-tree fire.