SocietyFebruary 27, 2021

Auckland returns to level three lockdown. Here are the rules for the next seven days


As of 6am on Sunday February 28, Auckland moves to level three, with the rest of the country going to level two, for seven days. 

For the latest official advice see here.

What happened?

A new case, known as “case M”, is a sibling of a student at Papatoetoe High School, which is linked to the existing outbreak that was first identified on Valentine’s Day Critically, however, the student has tested negative three times, which means there is a real possibility that the new infection was contracted from another source. The positive case has been infectious in the community for seven days. An important factor in deciding to change alert levels is the risk of undetected chains of transmission.

What are the new alert levels – and where do they apply?

Auckland enters alert level three at 6am on Sunday February 28. At the same time, the rest of the country will go to alert level two. They are in effect for seven days at this stage. They will be reviewed daily. 

Where does Auckland start, and where does it end?

It is defined as the Super City, from Wellsford to Pukekohe. 

Can kids go to school?

For most, no. School are open only for the children up to year 10 whose parents are essential workers. 

Are supermarkets still open?

Yes – with physical distancing. And wear a mask. There may be queues. Don’t panic. 

Dairies and pharmacies? 

Open, but same deal as above in regards to physical distancing.

Bars, cafes and restaurants? 

Can open for contactless takeaways and delivery only.

I’m visiting Auckland. Can I leave?

Yes. There will be a grace period, but don’t muck around.

I live in Auckland. Can I leave?

No. People who live in Auckland shouldn’t leave the city boundaries, and if you live outside of Auckland you shouldn’t come in. As with the last rodeo, there is likely to be patrolling of the supercity borders.

Do I need to wear a mask?

Highly recommended when you’re outside your home and in any environment where you might be within two metres’ proximity of another person. On public transport, a face covering is mandatory.

I have a GP/dentist/optometrist/physio appointment tomorrow. Will it go ahead?

Not for routine care. If you need urgent attention, appointments can still happen in person, or you might be able to have a virtual consultation – call them to discuss.

Hairdresser? Beautician? 

No. Any business that has physical interaction with customers is not allowed to open.

Should I go to work?

If you can work from home, work from home. If you can’t, and you work for a business that doesn’t have interactions with the public, you can go to work – but follow physical distancing and health and safety guidelines. For workplaces, physical distancing of one metre is sufficient.

For information on how to do business in alert level three see here.

Will public transport be running?

Yes. Maintain physical distancing of two metres and wear a mask.

Do I have to stick to my bubble? 

You should stay in your household bubble whenever you’re not at work or school. You legally must stay within your household bubble. You can expand this to: connect with close family and whānau; bring in caregivers; or support isolated people.

Should I keep track of my movements?

Yes. Use the NZ Covid Tracer app or any other reliable method (even good old-fashioned pen and paper). Turn on the Bluetooth function if you haven’t already but note: this is not an alternative to scanning. Do both.

What about weddings, funerals and tangihanga scheduled for the next few days?

Gatherings of up to 10 people can continue, but only for wedding services, funerals and tangihanga. Physical distancing and public health measures should be maintained.

I live outside of Auckland. What do I need to know? 

All of New Zealand beyond Auckland will be under level two for seven days from 11.59pm Sunday. Schools, tertiary institutions and early learning services remain open. Businesses also stay open and you can go to work, but stay one metre apart wherever possible. Wear a mask if you can in public. There is a limit of 100 people at social gatherings, including weddings, birthdays, funerals and tangihanga.

Read more here.

What if I’m sick?

Don’t go to work. If you have cold or flu-like symptoms, call Healthline. 

Where can I get tested?

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. In East Auckland, a CTC at Lloyd Elsmore Park, Pakuranga Heights, will be open from 8am-4pm Sunday. The Botany CTC at Golflands will be open from 9am-5pm Sunday.

To find your closest testing centre check here.
Mad Chapman, Editor
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

Get The Spinoff
in your inbox