Ministry of Health reinforces importance of stay at home order for some, as Alert Level drop looms

As the country prepares to move down Alert Levels tomorrow, the Ministry of Health has again reinforced the legal requirement for some people who still need to self-isolate or be tested for Covid-19.

A sign outside a Covid-19 testing centre in Auckland, New Zealand. Source: Getty

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield issued the Section 70 legal order yesterday. Any time a person receives a direction from a medical officer of health they must comply with it.

The order applies to those who were at Auckland's City Fitness Gym at Hunter’s Plaza at the same time as a confirmed Covid-19 case. The times in question are February 25 between 11.15am to 1.45pm and February 26 on 3.25pm to 4.30pm.

It also applies to people who have been contacted by a health official and told they are either a close-plus, close or casual-plus contact for this latest outbreak.

"A Section 70 order enables an authorised Medical Officer of Health to require those in the order to meet public health requirements to undergo testing and to isolate until they receive their result," the Ministry of Health said in a statement today. 

No new Covid-19 cases in community today, nine in managed isolation

"It also enables those affected to be visited immediately at homes or at work by Auckland public health officials.

"Public health officials will also discuss with these people the support available to help them meet these requirements."

People under the Section 70 order are required to do three things: 

1. To isolate at their usual home;
2. To report for and undergo medical testing for Covid-19 at a time and place to be specified by a medical officer of health; and
3. Except as required in order to undergo testing as directed, to remain isolated until they receive further direction from a medical officer of health.

All New Zealanders are also asked to stay vigilant and aware of Covid-19 symptoms, and to stay home and contact Healthline to arrange a test if they develop any.

There are seven community testing centres open in Auckland today, in Northcote, Balmoral, Henderson, Lloyd Elsmore Park in Botany, Wiri, Otara and Takanini.