New Zealand eases Covid restrictions but Auckland remains in lockdown

New Zealand loosens restrictions after new cases fall to 53 but 1.6 million people in its biggest city are still trapped in the world’s strictest lockdown

  • New Zealand to ease restrictions for areas south of Auckland from Wednesday
  • Auckland remains under level four lockdown for two more weeks after 53 cases
  • Rest of NZ moves to level three restrictions which sees food outlets reopen 

New Zealand will ease some Covid-19 restrictions two weeks after the whole country was plunged into lockdown.

However, 1.65 million Kiwis in Auckland will remain under level four lockdown for another two weeks after 53 new cases were recorded on Monday.

The rest of New Zealand south of Auckland will move to level three lockdown restrictions from 11.59pm Tuesday and will remain in place for a week for at least a week.

Northland will remains in level four but will move to level three later this week if wastewater tests come back Covid-free.

Auckland will remain in lockdown for another two weeks after 53 new cases on Monday (pictured a drive-through vaccination clinic)

For the rest of New Zealand, cafes, restaurants and takeaways can reopen but only for contactless pick-up, delivery or drive through.

The wearing of masks remain mandatory on public transport, in taxis and other ride share vehicles, supermarkets, pharmacies and takeaway stores and when visiting healthcare facilities.

Kiwis are urged to stay within their household bubble which can be extended to close family and those in isolation needing support.

Weddings and funerals are permitted to go ahead with up to 10 attendees.

Some recreational activities are now permitted again, including swimming, surfing, hiking, mountain biking and horse riding. 

The rest of New Zealand south of Auckland will move to level three restrictions from 11.59pm Tuesday.  Pictured are Kiwi supermarket workers

‘To move Auckland down a level we need to be confident we don’t have Delta in the community,  Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday.

She produced modelling that revealed that the country would have recorded at least 550 cases on Monday had level four restrictions not been implemented.

She added more hard work had to be done. 

‘We are making progress, and sacrifice being made is incredibly important,’ Ardern said.

‘The job is not yet done.

‘I’m not making any judgment from today’s numbers, I’ll look at tomorrow’s and the next day’s and we’ll see what trend emerges.’

 New Zealand had been largely virus-free for months, barring a small number of cases in February, until an outbreak of the Delta variant imported from Australia prompted Ardern to order a snap nationwide lockdown on Aug. 17

There are now 562 cases linked to the Delta outbreak, 13 days after New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 case in over six months.  

Level three restrictions will see the return of some permitted recreational activities (pictured a cyclist in Christchurch)

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