Auckland moving out of lockdown on Sunday morning

Auckland will move out of lockdown at 6am on Sunday morning. 

The Prime Minister made the announcement this afternoon, after the Ministry of Health revealed earlier today that for the fifth consecutive day there were no new Covid-19 cases in the community. 

At the same time on Sunday morning, the rest of New Zealand will move to Alert Level 1, from Level 2. 

Ardern said this was due to having no new cases for five days in a row, "excellent testing numbers" and the contract tracing levels.

The new alert levels will be reviewed at the end of next week – with the view Auckland will move to Alert Level 1 by the start of the weekend (March 13), "if we are in a position to do so", Ardern said. 

Ardern said they did not move Auckland out of Alert Level 3 earlier as there was the remainder of a transmission cycle still to go. 

"Sticking to that full seven days was the wise decision to make."

Director of Health Ashley Bloomfield urged anyone around the country who is sick to get a Covid-19 test. 

He issued a health order for people who visited Hunters Plaza City Fitness gym on February 20 between 11.15am and 1.45pm and February 26 between 3.25pm - 4.30pm.

They are required to isolate at their usual home, to report for and undergo a Covid-19 test and accept the test and remain isolated until they get further directions.

Auckland was plunged back into lockdown at 6am on February 28 after new community cases linked to the February cluster. 

"Covid is hard work, for everyone," Ardern said. 

One of those with the virus had visited a number of locations in South Auckland while infectious. 

Ardern said at the time restrictions would be in place for a minimum of seven days.

Auckland had not long been out of previous restrictions, having been through a three-day Alert Level 3 lockdown that began on February 15, only moving back down to Alert Level 1 on February 22. 

It comes after a tumultuous morning, after many New Zealanders were forced to evacuate inland or to higher ground after a series of earthquakes.