Live: Auckland moves to Alert Level 3 tomorrow

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield are expected to address the nation at 4pm.

Auckland will move to Alert Level 3 at midnight tomorrow and the Rest of New Zealand will remain at Alert Level 2. 

The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has made the announcement at a post Cabinet press conference this afternoon. 

Alert level 3 will remain in Auckland for two weeks and will be reviewed by Cabinet on Monday, October 4. 

One change has been made to the Alert Level 2 rules that allows gathering to lift from a maximum of 50 people to 100, this includes hospitality venues. 

“What Alert Level 3 means for Auckland can be summed up in word, caution,” says Ardern. 

“We are moving levels because level 3 still provides a cautious approach to stamp out Covid,” she says. 

“Collectively we keep going.” 

For Auckland Level 3 means bubbles remain, you’re not allowed to visit friends or neighbours, says Ardern. 

There can be small additions to your bubble to included vulnerable or elderly people  or for help with childcare, she says. 

“Bubbles must remain small and inclusive.” 

Because of three cases in Whakatīwai, near Kaiaua Director-Genral of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield has put in place a scetion 70 order. 

This requires people who live or work in the area around Mangatangi, in northern Waikato, to stay at home.  

Ardern says it is effectively a "bespoke level 4". 

Bloomfield says the order is for people living in an area north of SH2 centred on Mangatangi. 

"That will effectively extend the road boundary to the east of Maramarua ... and also to the southeast of Miranda on the Firth of Thames." 

He says this will remain for at least the next five days as people get tested. 

The Ministry of Health has also announced the final household member of the northern Hauraki house where the remand prisoner stayed has now been tested and results are pending. 
 
An investigation into the epidemiological link ongoing and the working hypothesis is that the individual was infected in Auckland after leaving prison, rather than by someone in the local community where he was staying, says a statement from the ministry.  
 
Further tests, including whole genome sequencing of the first close contacts, are due tomorrow. 
 
The ongoing investigation from Auckland Regional Public Health is looking to establish epidemiological links to the wider Auckland outbreak, guided by the whole genome sequencing results as they become available. 
 
The five further household members isolating at home returned negative results yesterday, giving confidence that they have not been infectious in the community, says the statement. 
 
All three positive cases, and an accompanying adult caregiver, have been moved to a quarantine facility. 
 
To date negative results have been returned from testing of close contacts among prison staff, other prisoners, police and court staff. 
 
A pop-up testing centre in the northern Hauraki town of Wharekawa marae in Whakatīwai has been busy today testing locals. Waikato DHB reports 340 tests have been taken as of 2pm today. 

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