Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern decided on Saturday to introduce a new lockdown because a local corona infection had been added. The new restrictions came less than two weeks after the city was also locked for three days.
Ardern said a new infection was confirmed unrelated to other positive cases in the past two weeks. However, they all seemed to be traced back to a school in the south of the city. The city’s approximately 1.7 million residents had to stay at home and were only allowed to go out for essential groceries or work.
Schools and non-essential stores had to close, and access to and from Auckland was restricted. Restrictions also apply to the rest of the country, but these are less far-reaching. For example, there are limits to the number of people that may be present at public gatherings.
Two more local corona infections have been identified since the new lockdown, but no new cases have emerged in the past five days. For that reason, the new lockdown will not be extended.
Until the recent infections, New Zealand had not had any local virus cases for months and was seen as one of the countries that managed to combat the lung virus very successfully with stringent measures. By closing its international borders early, the island nation virtually eradicated the virus at an early pandemic stage.
In the country, some 2,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus, and 26 people died from Covid-19.