Auckland Eases Restrictions After Nearly 12 Weeks in Lockdown

Last week, cabinet made an in-principle decision to ease restrictions in Auckland to what has been termed Alert Level 3, that’s Step 2. And today, cabinet on the advice of the director general of health, has confirmed that decision to ease into that new set of settings at 11:50 p.m. tomorrow night. This will bring Auckland and the Waikato into alignment. At Step 2, retail businesses and malls open. However, just to be clear, event facilities like movie theaters and gyms will remain closed for now. Face coverings, record-keeping and physical distancing, of course, are required. The reasons for this decision today capture the transition phase we’re in as we continue to minimize the impact of Covid-19 and work to protect people from it. As you can see, we have high, increasingly high vaccination rates in Auckland, and that is a substantial part of our consideration now. Auckland hit 90 percent first dose and 80 percent second dose over the weekend, and it’s now a matter of weeks away from 90 percent double dose. And so while we’re getting those rates higher still, we are easing into our reopening.

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