Restrictions eased in parts of Waikato at Alert Level 3; Northland to remain at Alert Level 2

Restrictions in the Waikato will be eased slightly from midnight tonight, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today.

“From 11.59pm tonight, people in the parts of Waikato at Alert Level 3 will be able to meet for outdoor gatherings between two households, with a maximum of 10 people,” Chis Hipkins said.

“Recreational activities will be expanded to include golf, hunting, boating, fishing, and scuba diving, also with a maximum of 10 people. However people must stay within the Alert Level 3 boundary.

“Face-to-face appointments with a number of healthcare providers can restart and early learning centres can reopen, with a maximum of 10 children in each bubble.

“It’s the same setting that Auckland is currently at, which is stage one of the reduced Alert Level 3 restrictions.

“The Government has followed public health advice. Waikato cases are predominantly confined to one network and there have not been any major exposure events.

“We’re not, however, comfortable enough yet to drop settings any lower while we continue to see new cases emerge.

“More than 15,000 tests have been completed over the past five days, which is extremely encouraging and shows residents are doing the right thing by getting tested, but the situation in the area is not fully contained and we can’t say at this point when that is likely to be. At this stage we remain committed to stamping COVID-19 out.”

Cabinet will review the levels again on Monday 1 November, alongside Auckland’s Alert Level settings.

“I acknowledge these ongoing restrictions are frustrating. So let’s all get vaccinated, encourage our friends and family to get vaccinated. The sooner each region gets to 90% the sooner we’ll all have certainty,” Chris Hipkins said.

Northland will remain in Alert Level 2 with no new cases reported in the region since Sunday.

“We know however that Delta is highly transmissible and people in the region need to stay vigilant,” Chris Hipkins said.

“Northlanders should continue to check the Ministry of Health website for locations of interest and monitor their symptoms. Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, even if they are mild, should get tested as soon as possible.

“The same applies to the South Island. With no new cases reported following the positive case in Blenheim on Friday, it will remain at Alert Level 2.

“Again, we do need everyone in the South Island to keep up with important health measures like scanning and wearing a face covering, to help stop any potential spread of the virus.”