Health Minister Chris Hipkins says the source of the latest Covid-19 community outbreak in Auckland remains "a puzzle".
Yesterday it was revealed there were four new Covid-19 cases in New Zealand in one Auckland family, none of which had yet been linked to a managed isolation facility or overseas travel.
As of midday today, Auckland will move into Alert Level 3, and the rest of the country into Alert Level 2 to help combat potential further spread of the coronavirus.
Today Mr Hipkins told TVNZ1's Breakfast it’s “not obvious” how the new Covid-19 outbreak came about.
“It’s a puzzle that we are working on solving ... from what we know as of this morning it’s not obvious where the person may have picked the case up from, that’s why the Government’s response has been so swift.
“Moving to Level 3 so quickly is obviously a strong response because we want to stop the transmission so we can get to the bottom of this case.”
Under the new alert level, those in the Auckland region are asked to stay home to stop potential spread of Covid-19, unless working in an essential industry.
Schools and early childhood centres in Auckland are also now closed for the rest of the week, though parents who are essential workers are exempt and can still have their children attend their place of learning.
Mr Hipkins is urging Aucklanders to stay home to stop further transmission and anyone who is offered a test to take one.
"If you live in Auckland, stay in Auckland ... that will give us an opportunity to get much more information to do much more contact tracing so we can identify where the real risks are.
"There's going to be a lot of testing in the next 72 hours, if you are offered a test, please get a test."