New Zealand will move to the highest Covid-19 alert level from 11.59pm tonight after a Covid-19 community case was detected in Auckland.
The case is a 58-year-old Devonport man who travelled to the Coromandel over the weekend with his wife, who has since tested negative.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield announced the details of the new case at a press conference this afternoon.
Kiwis will be plunged into lockdown tonight for three days while Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula would likely remain at level 4 for seven days.
Here’s what level four means for you.
Level four – dubbed the “eliminate” phase – means people must stay at home in their bubbles – travelling out only for essential personal movement.
Essential reasons for leaving the home briefly included:
• a physical exercise in your neighbourhood
• visiting the supermarket, dairy or pharmacy
• Necessary medical care or getting a test
Ardern urged Kiwis to wear a mask and maintain two metres distance when undertaking these activities.
The underlining principle for level four is to reduce contact between people to a bare minimum with essential contact only.
“That means the simplest thing New Zealanders can do to reduce the spread of virus is to stay at home. Beating Delta means lifting our game.”
“I ask New Zealanders to follow the rules to the letter,” Ardern said.
The household bubble is back, Ardern said, which is reduced to the people in your immediate household or others are dependent on it.
Once you are in a bubble, you must stay in it and others could not join it.
People who live completely isolated could make a bubble with one other person they had contact with.
Level 4 measures
• People are instructed to stay at home in their bubble other than for essential personal movement
• Safe recreational activity is allowed in local area
• Travel is severely limited
• All gatherings are cancelled and all public venues are closed
• Businesses are closed except for essential services, such as supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics, petrol stations and lifeline utilities
• Educational facilities are closed
• Rationing of supplies and requisitioning of facilities is possible
• Reprioritisation of healthcare services
New Zealand's alert level system
New Zealand uses an alert level system as a way of managing and minimising the risk of Covid-19 in our country.
New Zealand’s four-tier system – which was first introduced to Kiwis in March last year – is a way of helping people understand what risk is associated with current Covid-19 cases and what measures need to be followed.
Level 1: Prepare
The system starts with level 1 – dubbed the “prepare” stage – meaning the disease is contained in New Zealand but uncontrolled overseas.
Border restrictions remain in place including limiting who can travel here, health screening and testing in place for almost all arrivals and MIQ for anyone who is not travelling quarantine-free.
Under alert level 1, people are urged to stay home if they’re sick and get tested if they have Covid-19 symptoms.
Face coverings must legally be worn on public transport, domestic flights and by taxi and ride-share drivers. Masks aren’t compulsory for passengers but are strongly encouraged by health officials.
Level 2: Reduce
Under level 2, gatherings can not have more than 100 people – including weddings, civil union ceremonies, birthdays, funerals and tangihanga.
You can travel locally and to other regions that are at level 2 or lower, but need to do it in a safe way.
Those with cold, flu and Covid-19 symptoms, who are awaiting a test or need to self-isolate, should not travel.
Exercise and recreational activities are allowed and businesses can open under level 2 as well but must follow public health rules.
Health officials urge people to keep their distance from others when they’re outside of their home – including two metres in public and retail stores, like supermarkets, and one metre in most other places, like workplaces and cafes.
Like level 1, face coverings must legally be worn on public transport, domestic flights and by taxi and ride-share drivers. Rise-share passengers are strongly encouraged by health officials to wear masks.
People are encouraged to use the Covid-19 tracer app and businesses must display the NZ Covid Tracer QR code poster.
Level 3: Restrict
People must stay within their household bubble whenever they are not at work or school.
Businesses that require close physical contact can’t open – while those that do stay open must follow public health guidelines.
While people can travel within their local areas, such as going to the supermarket or getting exercise, travel between regions is heavily restricted.
Public venues – including libraries, museums, cinemas, food courts, gyms, pools, playgrounds and markets – must close.
Public transport continues to operate under level 3. Gatherings of up to 10 people can go ahead but only for weddings, civil union ceremonies, tangihanga and funerals.
People are encouraged to use the Covid-19 Tracer App to keep track of where they have been while businesses legally must display the NZ Covid Tracer QR code poster.
Like levels 1 and 2, face coverings must legally be worn on public transport, domestic flights and by taxi and ride-share drivers. Rise-share passengers are strongly encouraged by health officials to wear masks.
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