Decision expected today over whether Auckland's Covid-19 lockdown will remain

Officials are expected this afternoon to give an update on the heightened Covid-19 alert levels throughout the nation, following a meeting among Jacinda Ardern and her Cabinet.

An Auckland street during Level 3 lockdown. Source: Getty

Auckland entered Alert Level 3 — its fourth lockdown — at 6am Sunday after escalating numbers of Covid-19 cases in the South Auckland community, including a man who was thought to be infectious for days before getting a test. The rest of the nation hads been in Alert Level 2. 

The decision to move out of lockdown hinges on whether new cases pop up in the community and if they do, if they are able to be linked to existing cases, health officials have previously said. 

There have been no new community cases for four days so far. 

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Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said yesterday it was still too early to make a decision on Auckland coming out of lockdown while tests from contacts at the gym visited by a Covid-19 case still come in.

The city went into lockdown on Sunday morning after a 21-year-old man, known as Case M, was confirmed with the illness on Saturday.

His positive test came after he visited City Fitness in Papatoetoe on February 20 and 26, as well as Manukau Institute of Technology and multiple food outlets throughout last week.

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Of the 185 City Fitness attendees, so far 156 have returned negative tests. The remaining tests are currently being followed up.

The restrictions are currently set to last at least until this weekend — seven days after they came into force.