Covid-19 restrictions to ease in Waikato tomorrow; Auckland to move next week

Covid-19 restrictions will be eased slightly in Waikato from tomorrow night, and Auckland next Tuesday 9th November at 11:59pm, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced.  

Waikato will move to Alert Level 3, Step 2 on Tuesday 2nd November at 11:59pm, meaning outdoor gatherings can increase to 25 and public facilities, such as libraries and zoos, and retail can open with mask-wearing, contact tracing and physical distancing.

“It’s because of high vaccination rates that we can move forward with confidence, but public health measures remain extremely important as we ease restrictions,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“Cabinet has agreed in-principle to a shift down for Auckland to these same settings next Tuesday 9 November at 11:59pm. Vaccination rates are climbing steadily, with fewer than 5000 doses to go before 90 percent of people have had their first dose.

“That’s a tremendous effort over the past couple of weeks. The latest numbers also show that 80 percent of Auckland’s eligible population are now doubled vaccinated. These rates offer us greater protection now, even as we continue to work to ensure every single person who can be, is vaccinated.

“The public advice we’ve had is that opening up retail doesn’t lead to a marked increase of cases.  

“We also know that when people gather outside, are socially distanced and people wear masks, the risk of transmission is substantially lowered.

“Cabinet has carefully balanced the ongoing need to minimise cases against the pressure and fatigue of ongoing restrictions on Aucklanders. 

“The best way to ease restrictions safely is to have high vaccination rates. That’s why a further week has been built in today to allow even more people to get vaccinated and allow the reopening of schools for senior students to bed in,” Jacinda Ardern said.