Auckland will remain at Alert Level 2.5 for the time being, with a review taking place in 10 days’ time on September 14.
The rest of the country will remain at Alert Level 2, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.
Auckland moved to Alert Level 2.5 last Sunday, after being at Alert Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand has remained at Level 2 since August 12.
Yesterday, Ardern told media Cabinet would consider the nature of Auckland’s Covid-19 cluster, its containment, compliance, the economic impact and the time period at Level 2.5 when it meets to review alert levels.
She said any possible changes to alert levels would be signaled today – ahead of September 6, which marks a week of Auckland being placed in Level 2.5.
“We have been at this level only for a very short period of time, we are still in this earlyish stage of seeing the impact on the cluster, so these are all things Cabinet will consider,” Ardern said yesterday.
“We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, so making sure we reduce the risk as much as possible – we know some of the most at risk times tend to be around weekends for instance.
Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield told the Health Select Committee this week the “first next step” of the Covid-19 alert levels will be focused on Auckland shifting from Level 2.5 to 2 – rather than the possibility of moving to Level 1.
When asked during Wednesday’s 1pm briefing if a move to Level 1 after this week’s review was off the cards, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said, “no, it’s just literally we haven’t got to that part yet”.
“The advice for those Cabinet meetings tends to come together at the last minute because we are drawing on the most recent and up to date information as we make those decisions.
“That information for those tends to be drawn together about 36 hours before that meeting takes place.”