Ban on Aucklanders travelling outside city should have continued into Level 2, epidemiologist says

The Government should have kept a travel ban for Aucklanders leaving the city when it moved to Covid-19 Alert Level 2, according to a University of Otago epidemiologist.

Professor Michael Baker. Source: 1 NEWS

The region is now in what Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has dubbed "Level 2.5". Though Aucklanders can travel to other parts of the country, Ms Ardern asks they avoid mass gatherings.

Despite Ms Ardern's call, the organiser of a conference held in Queenstown - which includes Aucklanders as guests - has said it is going ahead tomorrow and Friday. 

Professor Michael Baker told the Otago Daily Times it wasn't "in the spirit of our Prime Minister's recommendation that people head off from Auckland and go to conferences".

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The Morgo conference is being held at the Heritage Hotel. Though holding a conference does not break the rules, Prof Baker said having Auckland guests appeared to contravene Ms Ardern's comments.

He said with Auckland being the centre of the Covid-19 outbreak, people from the city should "question everything they are doing in terms of whether it is exposing others to risk".

Conference organiser Jenny Morel hasn't specified how many Aucklanders were attending the event, but told the ODT that "events such as Morgo - conferences - are not restricted beyond the standard Level 2 protocols and allow for 100 people anywhere in New Zealand".