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Next step will be timing of Auckland's move from Alert Level 2.5 to 2 - Dr Bloomfield

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield says the "next step" of the Covid-19 alert levels will be focussed on Auckland shifting from Level 2.5 to 2 - rather than the possibility of moving to Level 1. 

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Ashley Bloomfield said he had not given advice on any moves to Covid-19 Alert Level 1. Source: 1 NEWS

During today's Health Select Committee, where Dr Bloomfield and Health Minister Chris Hipkins were grilled by MPs, the pair were asked what the criteria was to go to Level 1. 

"We haven’t been asked for, nor (are) yet thinking about advice for taking Auckland or indeed the whole country down to Alert Level 1," Dr Bloomfield said.

"The first next step will be the timing around when Auckland moves down to a full Alert Level 2 or a regular Alert Level 2."

Mr Hipkins also said they had not yet considered any advice on a shift from Level 2 to 1. 

NZ First's Jenny Marcroft asked if there was a possibility Auckland could remain at Level 2 "for months", due to the size of the current community cluster. 

Auckland moved to Alert Level 2.5 on Sunday night, while the rest of the country remained at Level 2. The Prime Minister is set to review the levels on Friday, September 4. 

Dr Bloomfield said the Auckland cluster was the largest and they "do see a long tail" of cases related to the cluster. 

However, he added additional measures put in place such as putting people into managed isolation was likely to reduce the length of that tail.

"We know most of the transmission that happens is within family households.”