Waikato will move to Alert Level 3, Step 2 on Tuesday 2 November at 11:59pm, meaning outdoor gatherings can increase to 25 and public facilities, such as libraries and zoos, and retail can open with mask-wearing, contact tracing and physical distancing.
High vaccination rates mean we can move forward with confidence, but public health measures remain extremely important as we ease restrictions.
Cabinet has agreed in-principle to a shift down for Auckland to these same settings next Tuesday 9 November at 11:59pm. Vaccination rates are climbing steadily, with fewer than 5000 doses to go before 90 percent of people have had their first dose.
The latest numbers also show that 80 percent of Auckland’s eligible population are now doubled vaccinated. These rates offer us greater protection now, even as we continue to work to ensure every single person who can be, is vaccinated.
The public advice received by the Government is that opening up retail doesn’t lead to a marked increase of cases.
The risk of transmission is also substantially lowered when people gather outside, are socially distanced and wear masks.
Cabinet has carefully balanced the ongoing need to minimise cases against the pressure and fatigue of ongoing restrictions on Aucklanders.
The best way to ease restrictions safely is to have high vaccination rates, which is why a further week has been built in today to allow even more people to get vaccinated and allow the reopening of schools for senior students to bed in.