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NZ remains in 'very, very good place' amid Covid-19 pandemic, Ardern assures as restrictions ease

Despite a second resurgence of Covid-19 in New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is assuring the country is still in a good position fighting back against the deadly pandemic.

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The Prime Minister says she feels confident moving the nation down alert levels. Source: Breakfast

"In that world of uncertainty we can provide certainty and confidence within ongoing plans," she told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning.

"They can see the second wave resurgence around the world and see that actually, even with what we have to deal with lately, we are still in a very, very good place."

As the US closes in on 200,000 coronavirus deaths today, the crisis is also deteriorating across Europe, with Britain working to draw up new restrictions, Spain clamping down again in Madrid and the Czech Republic replacing its health minister with an epidemiologist because of a surge of infections.

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All regions outside of New Zealand are back to Alert Level 1 for the first time in six weeks. Source: Breakfast

However, in New Zealand everyone outside Auckland woke to Alert Level 1 again today.

Auckland remains in "Level 2.5", but will move to Level 2 tomorrow at 11.59pm.

Ardern said she made the decision yesterday to move the majority of Kiwis back to Alert level 1 as there hasn't been any Covid-19 community cases outside Auckland, apart from the early links to the cluster in Tokoroa which were "well managed".

"We have been very cautious because, of course, it's never been a certainty that we wouldn't have a bit of travel," she said.

"It's the fact that we just haven't seen those cases that gives us the confidence to move, the fact that we have good control of the cluster and we've had that string of days without any cases within it - that gave us the confidence to move."

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Cabinet is moving on the provisional plans made a fortnight ago. Source: 1 NEWS

Ardern also said there was targeted testing of people who work in sectors where they are in contact with those moving around the country to "give that added layer of confidence".

"We do still want vigilance, though," she warned, urging people with cold and flu symptoms to get a test no matter where they are in the country.

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"We wouldn't be moving to Level 1 in the rest of he country unless we had that confidence from those zero case days and the fact we haven't seen it outside."

Going forward, though, Ardern said those running larger scale indoor events would be contacted to ensure they are using QR codes and that they know where patrons are seated should new cases or the virus pop up.

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Covid-19 Alert Level 1 means no restrictions on crowds or group sizes and no mandated social distancing. Source: 1 NEWS