New Zealand’s biggest city, Auckland, has gone back into lockdown from 6am this morning (Sunday) and will remain under the new regulations for at least seven days.
This follows confirmation that the country’s mystery local Covid-19 case is linked to the more infectious UK strain.
A second person, a household member of the original case – known as Case M – has subsequently also been confirmed as infected. The second infection has been designated as Case N by the country’s health authorities.
Case N is currently asymptomatic and the three other members of the household have returned negative tests.
Original case attends Manukau Institute of Technology
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden confirmed on Saturday that there would be a seven-day snap lockdown for the city in an effort to prevent further spread. Auckland is now at Alert Level 3 for the week, while the rest of the nation is at Alert Level 2.
“Case M is a student at the Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) and also works part-time, one day a week, at Kerry Logistics (Oceania) Limited. Affected MIT students have been emailed this evening,” the Department of Health said in a statement late on Saturday.
“A number of locations of interest that Case M visited have now been advised. These include Hunter Plaza, Burger King Highland Park, Your Health Pharmacy, and Pak n Save Manukau. City Fitness in Hunter Plaza, a gym the person attended, has also advised its members by email directly of the time and day of interest.
“People who were at these locations of interest should isolate for 14 days and if symptoms develop, get tested.”
Additional community testing centres made available
To facilitate rapid testing, additional community testing centres are available in Auckland this weekend, many with extended hours. These are in Otara, Botany, Pakuranga Heights, Balmoral, Henderson and Northcote.
“People should work from home unless that is not possible,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at a media conference on Saturday.
Schools can open for parents that need to be at work. Otherwise, children are asked to stay at home. Supermarkets and pharmacies will continue to stay open.
In Auckland, people are able to travel locally if they are accessing essential services, going to work, or exercising. Residents are also strongly encouraged to wear face masks when leaving home.