Prime Minister to give Covid-19 Alert Level update at 4pm

Anna Whyte
Source: 1News

The country will be updated at 4pm today whether New Zealand will stay at Covid-19 Alert Level 4 post-Tuesday night, or if there will be any changes. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will front from Parliament after meeting with Cabinet Ministers to make decisions about the alert level settings. 

Watch the press conference on TVNZ11news.co.nz or on the 1 NEWS Facebook page. 

When asked about how long the country could expect to remain in lockdown, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said yesterday there was "still a whole 24 hours of information to gather". 

"We do get the latest information together right before the Cabinet meeting so we can make [decisions] based on the latest data."

He said regional boundaries were a possibility, "so not everyone will stay at the same alert level right the way through as we get a better handle on risk".

"We will know even more in 24 hours than we know now, there is potential for movement.

"That movement may not happen immediately, but we may be able to signal it. I don't want to foreshadow any decisions we might make tomorrow."

On if the South Island could move down alert levels, Hipkins said Government planners had already worked up a variety of scenarios "for different challenges up and down the country".

"That includes a variety of different regional boundaries that could be applied - whether it's a regional boundary for Auckland, a regional boundary for Auckland and the Coromandel and the Bay of Plenty and Waikato, a regional boundary for Wellington - these are all possibilities that are on the table."

He said people would be given "plenty" of notice for potential changes. 

Ardern announced on Friday that the entire country would remain at Alert Level 4 until at least Tuesday, August 24 11.59pm - in line with Auckland and the Coromandel. She said this would be reviewed on Monday, August 23. 

New Zealand went into Alert Level 4 at 11.59pm on August 17, initially for at least a week for Auckland and the Coromandel and three-days for the rest of the country.

Yesterday, 21 new community cases were announced, bringing the total Delta outbreak to 72.