Monday, April 22, 2024

Pandemic restrictions to ease

Pandemic restrictions will be eased slightly in Waikato from tomorrow night, and in Auckland from next Tuesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced today.

Waikato will move to Alert Level 3, Step 2 on Tuesday 2nd November at 11:59pm, meaning outdoor gatherings can increase to 25 and public facilities, such as libraries and zoos, and retail can open with mask-wearing, contact tracing and physical distancing.

“It’s because of high vaccination rates that we can move forward with confidence, but public health measures remain extremely important as we ease restrictions,” Ms Ardern said.

“Cabinet has agreed in-principle to a shift down for Auckland to these same settings next Tuesday 9 November at 11:59pm. Vaccination rates are climbing steadily, with fewer than 5000 doses to go before 90% of people have had their first dose.

“That’s a tremendous effort over the past couple of weeks. The latest numbers also show that 80% of Auckland’s eligible population are now doubled vaccinated. These rates offer us greater protection now, even as we continue to work to ensure every single person who can be, is vaccinated.

“The public advice we’ve had is that opening up retail doesn’t lead to a marked increase of cases.  

“We also know that when people gather outside, are socially distanced and people wear masks, the risk of transmission is substantially lowered.

“Cabinet has carefully balanced the ongoing need to minimise cases against the pressure and fatigue of ongoing restrictions on Aucklanders. 

“The best way to ease restrictions safely is to have high vaccination rates. That’s why a further week has been built in today to allow even more people to get vaccinated and allow the reopening of schools for senior students to bed in,” the Prime Minister said.

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