NZ Government extends Alert Level 4 due to Delta variant
The New Zealand Government has announced that the Covid Alert Level 4 will remain in place across the entire country until 11:59 pm on Friday, August 27 due to the rising cases of the COVID-19 delta variant.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced the extension yesterday after a Cabinet meeting to consider the settings. Another meeting is expected to occur on Friday.
Aside from the country-wide extension, it was also announced that Auckland will remain under Alert Level 4 until 11:59 pm on Tuesday, August 31.
“Six days into the outbreak we are building a picture of Delta’s spread. However, there remain a number of unanswered questions,” The Prime Minister said.
“Further time, testing and data are required before we can make alert level changes.”
Sir David Skegg stated in his recent report to the NZ Government that the Delta variant will be more difficult to control by testing and contact tracing alone. The Prime Minister said that New Zealand was already witnessing the outcome of the variant.
“That means the safest option for us all right now, is to hold the course for longer in Level 4. A strong health approach has also proven to be the best economic approach as well,” she said.
The setting for New Zealand will be reviewed this Friday to see if any new cases emerge outside of Auckland, that wastewater results stay negative and that contacts are identified, isolated and tested.
Since Auckland continues to be the primary location of delta variant cases, the city will need to remain under Level 4 for at least a full 14-day cycle. Its settings will be reviewed next Monday.
“It is possible to get on top of this. We just need to keep our efforts up, and keep following the rules, so that we aren’t under restrictions a moment longer than we need to be,” The Prime Minister said.
“Our plan has worked before and together we can make it work again. So please, stay strong, stay home, be kind. And let’s finish what we started.”
The NZ Government has announced that businesses, organisations and self-employed people who have been affected by the extension of Alert Level 4 can now apply for several support schemes.
SOURCE: BEEHIVE.GOVT.NZ MEDIA RELEASE