Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today explained why those outside Auckland will remain at Alert Level 2 for at least one more week.
Ardern says Cabinet has agreed - in principle - to lower alert levels outside Auckland next Monday, September 21 at 11:59pm.
This is "contingent on cases tracking as they are" and will be confirmed when Cabinet meets again in seven days' time.
“I know some of you may have questions on why the rest of the country hasn’t moved to Level 1 just yet and why we are making an in principle decision to leave that move for another week," Ardern said.
"Modelling done for the Ministry of Health continues to suggest around a 25 per cent chance of cases moving outside the Auckland region.
While the cases are currently contained in Auckland, with inter-regional travel open there does remain a risk of spreading the virus to the rest of the country.
"It only requires one person travelling and attending a super spreader event somewhere else in the country and we could be looking at further restrictions elsewhere."
Auckland will remain at its Alert Level 2.5 and its position will also be reviewed next Monday, with an eye to increasing gathering limits.
If Cabinet agrees to proceed, Auckland's changes will come into force on Wednesday, September 23.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the announcements today from Dunedin after Cabinet's alert level review.
Auckland is currently at Level 2.5, while the rest of the country is at Level 2.
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.
Yesterday, two news cases of Covid-19 were reported in New Zealand. One new case was a returnee who is in managed isolation and the other a health worker from Auckland's Jet Park quarantine facility.
An additional case of community transmission, a child, was announced today.