Covid 19 coronavirus: Auckland to move to alert level 1 at midnight – what does it mean?

Auckland will join the rest of the country at level 1 from midnight tonight and with it regain the freedom of being able to return to work, school, sports and attend large events without restrictions.

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed the move in alert level this afternoon, saying it comes after 72,000 tests since last Sunday, with all eight Covid-19 community cases being linked and all their close contacts testing negative.

Aucklanders can now take a sigh of relief after being thrown back into level 3 last Sunday night for three days with the re-emergence of three Covid-19 cases in South Auckland before being given a few more freedoms on Thursday under level 2 rules.

Despite there being one new community case and six cases at the border today – the Ministry of Health said the community case was linked to the Papatoetoe cases and the public health risk was considered very low as the person was a household contact of the second family infected by the virus and had not been in the community while contagious.

Under level 1 life can largely return to normal and events of any size can now go ahead and social distancing is not enforced.

At alert level 1 people need to be ready if a case appears in the community and must wear face coverings on public transport including on long-distance bus and train journeys, most ferries and domestic flights throughout New Zealand. The rules have been extended to include the whole country.

The government still recommends keeping a safe distance from strangers and urges people to continue to use the Covid-19 tracer app and keep blue tooth on or to keep a record of where they have been in case it reappears in the community.

People need to continue good hygiene practices such as coughing or sneezing into their elbows and if they have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms they should stay home and call the doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 to see if they need a test.

Public transport operators, workplaces and businesses must still display the QR code posters for customers.

However New Zealand border restrictions still remain and anyone entering the country is required to have Covid-19 tests and stay in a managed isolation quarantine for 14 days. They are not allowed to leave until they return a positive test.

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