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At 5:30 pm on Friday evening, PM Jacinda Ardern announced to the press that there will be no change of the current COVID-19 alert levels in New Zealand.
The country is to stay at the current levels for an additional 12 days until 11:59 pm on Wednesday 26 August, however, there will be a review of these settings on the 21st August.
“We will be checking in soon, but until then, stay safe, stay kind and stay well everyone,” Jacinda Ardern.
Nothing to suggest we need to move to level 4 at this stage as we do not have a number of clusters or unrelated cases.
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“one point five million New Zealanders in our biggest city is carrying a heavy load for our team of 5 million right now. But together we will overcome an obstacle that we knew had the potential to come our way. Which is why we have a plan, why we’re rolling out that plan., and why we once again can pull together to eliminate COVID,” said Jacinda Ardern.
It is advised that people wear masks or face coverings while in places where lots of people are and to download the contact tracing app to help speed contact tracing up.
“Wear a face-covering whenever you leave your home. For the rest of New Zealand, wear a face-covering in places whenever you are close to others on public transport. Download and use the app and make sure you can quickly access all your movements in the last 14 days in case you’re contacted by the contact tracers,” said Jacinda Ardern.
Ardern suggests to wash your hands, stay home if you are sick and if you are unwell get a test.
“Lifting restrictions now and seeing a potential explosion in cases is the worse thing we can do for Auckland and the New Zealand economy. At the same time, level three does allow us to continue with more activity than a full level four lockdown and I do think that’s important to remember. Estimates are that the economy operates at roughly about eighty per cent of level three compared to sixty per cent at level four. I am mindful though, of the extraordinary disruption to business and the anxiety that this outbreak will be causing, as before, we will use what tools we have to protect jobs, incomes and businesses as well as peoples health,” said Jacinda Ardern.
The wage subsidy scheme will be extended to help with the ongoing extension of the lockdowns. It will cover the current level three restrictions in place in Auckland and New Zealand, to support businesses and protect jobs.
“Finance minister Grant Robertson will be working through the final details with the officials and minister Sepuloni over the weekend. But I can say, that the extension to the wage subsidy will be nationwide and will cover the period of time that the current level three restrictions remain in place,” said Jacinda Ardern.