Auckland will move to Alert Level 2 on Wednesday at 11.59pm, while the alert level for the rest of the country will be lowered to Level 1 tonight, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.
It means gathering limits in Auckland will be raised.
Auckland's alert level will be reviewed on October 5, with any changes from October 7, Jacinda Ardern said.
“Our actions collectively have managed to get the virus under control,” Ardern said, adding the country was in a strong position to shift alert levels.
She said the virus had not spread beyond Auckland or the small number of cases in Tokoroa.
“Our response safeguarded the health of New Zealand,” Ardern said.
Director of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced there were no new cases of Covid-19 today.
However, he said a case who tested positive for Covid-19 after their managed isolation stay was still being investigated.
On why Auckland would not move alert levels alongside the rest of the country, Ardern said that the city "needs more time."
“Whilst we have reasonable confidence we are on the right track, there is still a need in Auckland for this cautious approach.”
She said in two weeks, Auckland may be in a position to move down again.
Dr Bloomfield said the reason why Auckland would move two days later was due to legal requirements - the order for New Zealand to move to Alert Level 1 had already been created.
Ardern said there was discussions around raising gathering limits in Auckland to 50 or 100, and the advice from Dr Bloomfield was to allow the latter.
“This run of essential seven days without any additional community cases… gave us a sense it was safe to move to an upper gathering limit of 100," Dr Bloomfield said.
Last Monday, the Prime Minister extended the current alert levels, with Auckland remaining at 2.5 and the rest of the country at 2.
However, she indicated the rest of the country would move to Alert Level 1 at 11.59pm tonight contingent on the Covid-19 outbreak situation.
Auckland’s position was being reviewed by Cabinet today – with Ardern saying increasing gathering limits would be discussed.
Any changes to Auckland’s would only take effect from Wednesday, September 23 at 11.59pm.
Auckland moved to Alert Level 2.5 on August 30 after being at Alert Level 3 since the beginning of the August community outbreak, and the rest of New Zealand has been at Level 2 since August 12.