Auckland is now at alert level three and the rest of New Zealand has moved to level two. Here’s what you need to know about what’s happened so far, as at lunchtime on Wednesday.
- Last night, the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, and the deputy general of health, Ashley Bloomfield, announced that four people in one family in South Auckland had tested positive for Covid-19, with no known connection to overseas travel or mandatory isolation facilities. They are two men, one of whom is in his 50s, a woman in her 20s, and a toddler.
- As of 12pm today, Auckland moved to alert level three, with the rest of the country shifting to alert level two. We will stay at these alert levels until at least midnight on Friday.
- At 10.30am, Ardern and Bloomfield gave a media briefing in which they revealed that the woman in her 20s and the toddler who tested positive had travelled to Rotorua at the weekend. The woman, who was symptomatic, had visited several tourist attractions. Bloomfield said those in Rotorua should be vigilant, and an additional pop-up testing centre would open tomorrow.
- All four of the positive cases are isolating at home in Auckland together, and whether to move them to a quarantine facility is being discussed. All close and casual contacts of the family are being tested – around 130 people, including workplace colleagues. Three colleagues of one of the positive cases are symptomatic and are isolating. The workplaces involved include a finance company and a cool store in Mt Wellington.
- Bloomfield said genome sequencing was being carried out on those who tested positive to help track where the virus had come from.
- Preparations are in place for tens and thousands of tests to be undertaken in the next few days, but Ardern encouraged people only to get tested if they are symptomatic.
- The government is strongly encouraging those in Auckland to wear masks, or a face covering of some kind, when they leave the house, but it is not compulsory.
- The dissolution of parliament has been deferred until at least Monday.
- Nine police checkpoints are now operating at the regional boundaries of the Auckland super city.
- Another press conference will take place at 4pm.
Read more at today’s live updates here.