Level 4 to remain in place to keep NZers safe

Covid Alert Level 4 will remain in place across the whole of New Zealand until 11.59pm on Friday, and until 11.59pm on Tuesday August 31 for Auckland, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced.

Cabinet met today to consider the settings and will meet again on Friday.

“Six days into the outbreak we are building a picture of Delta’s spread, however there remain a number of unanswered questions,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“Further time, testing and data is required before we can make alert level changes.

“In his recent report to the Government, Sir David Skegg said the Delta variant will be more difficult to control by testing and contact tracing alone, and we are already seeing that.

“That means the safest option for us all right now, is to hold the course for longer in Level 4. A strong health approach has also proven to be the best economic approach as well.

“The setting for the rest of New Zealand outside of Auckland will be reviewed this Friday and Cabinet will be looking to see if any new cases emerge outside of Auckland, that wastewater results stay negative, and that contacts are identified, isolated and tested. 

“Auckland continues to be the primary location of cases which is why its Level 4 needs to be at least a full 14 day cycle. Auckland’s settings will be reviewed by Cabinet next Monday.

“It is possible to get on top of this. We just need to keep our efforts up, and keep following the rules, so that we aren’t in restrictions a moment longer than we need to be.

“Our plan has worked before and together we can make it work again. So please, stay strong, stay home, be kind. And let’s finish what we started,” Jacinda Ardern said.