New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has imposed another lockdown on the city of Auckland and placed the remainder of the country under Level-2 restrictions, after another new case of Covid-19 was confirmed.
A seven-day lockdown will begin in Auckland from 6am local time on Sunday, while the rest of New Zealand will be placed into Level-2 restrictions, which limit public gatherings, Ardern said on Saturday, following a community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 resulting in a Covid-19 case of unknown origin.
The new Covid patient presented at a GP for a test after which they went to the gym, which Ardern said was “frustrating.”
The patient developed symptoms on Tuesday, was tested on Friday and received their results on Saturday morning. They had been working part-time at an airport in the city the entire time.
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Ardern stressed that there was “cause for concern” as the patient had likely been infectious for a week but had not been self-isolating, instead visiting a number of “well-populated sites.”
As a result, public venues will be shuttered and gatherings outside of bubbles will be temporarily suspended, while all sporting events during the mini-lockdown period will be canceled.
In the meantime, Aucklanders have been asked to work from home and to keep their children away from school until the snap lockdown ends.
A temporary border will be erected around Auckland and workers will be required to present evidence of travel exemptions in order to enter or leave the city.
Under Level-2 restrictions for the rest of New Zealand, people may still go to work, children can continue to go to school and gatherings are limited to 100 people.
The move follows another snap lockdown in mid-February that lasted for three days, after a family of three tested positive for the more virulent UK variant of the 2019 coronavirus.