New Zealand imposes level 3 restrictions
February 28, 2021 1:56 pm
Auckland, New Zealand is in its second lockdown in a month as health authorities try to rein in a coronavirus cluster of the more contagious UK variant.
The seven-day lockdown, announced late yesterday by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, follows a three-day stay-at-home order in mid-February after a local emergence of the UK variant of the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Genomic sequencing of a new case recorded on Saturday, which prompted the lockdown, was linked to the existing cluster, bringing it to 13 cases.
Ardern stressed that these steps are necessary.
“We are in the unfortunate but necessary position of needing to protect Aucklanders once again. That is why cabinet met and made the decision that Auckland will need to move to Alert Level 3 for a period of seven days. The rest of NZ will move to Level 2. The seven days in this case relative three or we call it a shorter period last time was the length of infectious period we have had this case in the community across a wide range of sites and the fact that we must assume that it is the more infectious variant that we continue to deal with.”
The new lockdown, with Level 3 restrictions, allows people to leave home only for essential shopping and essential work.
Public venues will remain closed.
New Zealand, with a population of 5 million, has recorded just over 2,000 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic and 26 deaths.