Waikato to move to Alert Level 2

The Waikato will move back to Alert Level 2, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today.

“Cabinet today agreed that a move to Alert Level 2 can safely take place tomorrow Tuesday, 16 November at 11:59pm,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“The decision is based on public health advice and widespread testing showing a low likelihood of wider community transmission occurring.

“Since parts of the Waikato moved into Alert Level 3 six weeks ago there have been 233 cases. People in the Waikato have helped to keep case numbers low especially by going out and getting tested, the Waikato has the second highest testing rates in the country.

“Alongside many people got vaccinated to keep each other safe. I want to say thank you to Waikato people. One of the best ways to protect the whole community is to have a highly vaccinated community.

“Vaccination rates for the Waikato are currently at 89 per cent for first doses, and 79 per cent for second doses. Waikato is just 3893 doses away from reaching 90 per cent first dose.

“If you are vaccinated already, now’s the time to make sure that friends and whānau who have been hesitating get their shots.

“Alert Level 2 means you can go to work, to hospitality, schools are open, events and sports can go ahead, and when New Zealand moves into the new traffic light framework more freedoms will open up.

“It doesn’t mean dropping our guard though, and we’re now asking people in the Waikato to wear a mask, keep distance from others, scan in wherever they go, and isolate and get tested if they have symptoms of COVID-19. 

“Auckland remains at Alert Level 3, Step 2 and the rest of the country is currently at Alert Level 2.”