Auckland’s restrictions gradually relaxed
04 October 2021
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today established a roadmap for Auckland to cautiously exit current Covid-19 restrictions.
Auckland’s Alert Level 3 and 4 restrictions have helped control Delta’s outbreak over the past seven weeks as New Zealanders have increased vaccination rates.
“Today, based on public health advice, Cabinet confirmed its plan to exit Auckland from current restrictions with care and method, with regular checks to ensure we continue to actively control the virus,” said said Jacinda Ardern.
“As of 11:59 pm Tuesday, Auckland will remain on Alert Level 3, but several key changes will occur. People will be able to connect with their loved ones OUTSIDE with no more than two households at a time, up to a maximum of 10 people; early childhood education will come back for all; and people can travel to Auckland for recreation such as beach trips and hunting.
“In stage two, retail will open, with the usual measures of wearing face masks and maintaining physical distance; public facilities such as swimming pools and zoos will open; and the number of people who can meet OUTDOOR will increase to 25.
“The third step will bring back those higher risk settings. Hospitality will be open – seated, separate and within the limit of 50; close contact businesses like hairdressers will also open up with the use of masks and physical distancing; and rallies will also expand to 50.
“The Cabinet will review each step each week to make sure it is safe to move before confirming the next step. The wage subsidy will continue to be available.
“Public health boards also say schools at this point can return after school holidays on Oct. 18, with the final decision to be made on this closer on time.
“All in all, this phasing amounts to a cautious and methodical transition plan for Auckland. At the end of these steps, we will then move to a national framework that reflects a more vaccinated population, allowing us to deal with riskier contexts such as large-scale events with the use of vaccination certificates.
“The Cabinet also agreed that the rest of New Zealand would remain on Alert Level 2 to continue helping Auckland do the heavy lifting – but the 100 limit on hospitality venues is being removed. The requirement that clients be seated and separated with physical distance remains in place.
“Today, we have passed the milestone of 2 million New Zealanders vaccinated. It follows the doubling of vaccination rates in Auckland in the past 7 weeks, with 84 percent of Aucklanders having received a dose and 52 percent now fully vaccinated. But there is more work to be done.
“Vaccines were always going to change the way we deal with Covid-19 in the future, but our strategy has worked and will remain – we want to control the virus, avoid cases and hospitalizations, enjoy our freedoms and reconnect with the world.” , says Jacinda Ardern.