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Auckland will move down to Alert Level 1 today 'bar anything significant' - Ardern

Ahead of the Government’s review of the country’s Covid-19 alert levels this afternoon, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says “bar anything significant”, Auckland will move from Alert Level 2 to 1.

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The Prime Minister says keeping Auckland at Alert Level 2 was a "precautionary" step based on experts' advice. Source: Breakfast

“Bar anything significant coming through, I had an expectation we would continue to move down alert levels,” Ardern told Breakfast.

Ardern said Auckland was placed in Alert Level 2 from last Thursday only as a “precautionary” measure, after Cabinet received “considered advice” from experts like her chief science adviser and the Director-General of Health.

“Every time we’ve had an adjustment in our alert levels, we prefer to step down rather than make big leaps. That gives us a chance to check we’ve got our settings right,” she said.

Ardern said Cabinet had the confidence to lower alert levels even if the source of the latest Auckland Covid-19 outbreak hadn’t been determined because of mass testing and wastewater testing.

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Auckland is currently at Alert Level 2 while the rest of New Zealand is at Level 1. Source: Breakfast

That testing had revealed no new cases of Covid-19 in the community since Friday, when a household contact of three previous cases in Auckland tested positive for the virus. The Ministry of Health has said all close contacts of the latest community outbreak have returned negative test results.

Cabinet will also consider today whether face coverings will remain mandatory on public transport in Alert Level 1 and 2. Until last week, only Aucklanders have been required to wear face masks on public transport at all alert levels.