Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said restrictions on Auckland’s borders will not end next week. photo / file
The limit prohibiting Aucklanders from traveling outside the city will remain in place for the next week, whether or not the city goes to Alert Level 2.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today that removing the limit will not be considered on Monday when cabinet discusses the possibility of phasing out Alert Level 3 COVID restrictions.
He said the government would instead see if it was possible to relax any other “low risk” restrictions next week.
“At the moment, we have the epidemic under control, but we have the epidemic, so we will continue to assess the role of the border,” she said.
“But right now, that’s not one of the things I expect to see picking up on Monday.”
This is because there are 19 cases of covid in the community today.
Eighteen of the cases are in Auckland and the other is a child who studied at Mangatangi School, who was in isolation. The school was at the center of the outbreak earlier this month after the children of a gang member who was paroled out of prison were infected.
Ardern said despite the number of mysterious cases circulating, there were still questions about whether the alert level would change and that a decision would be made by cabinet on Monday.
However, she said she spoke about border restrictions to give people some certainty.
“We want to come to a position where we can get restless again,” she said.
“It entails a tremendous amount of work to manage the border safely and also causes a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety for those who are isolating themselves. “
“Of course we want to get this movement back, but it needs to be protected.”
When asked if the limit would stay in place until vaccination rates exceed 90 percent, Ardern said this was not a “link” made by the government.
However, higher vaccination rates were key to removing all restrictions, she said.
There were 45 new cases yesterday, ending a string of days of low numbers – a result epidemiologist Professor Rod Jackson has described as a “wake-up call.”
“Auckland will not come out of Level 3 until we have a mystery case,” Jackson said.