All of Northland will be moving to Alert Level 3 from 11.59pm Friday.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed the news at 6.30pm.
Hipkins said it comes after a person with Covid-19 returned a weak positive test in Whangārei earlier this week. After retesting in Auckland, they were confirmed as a case.
The person is now in an Auckland MIQ facility.
“Updated information provided by the police today shows the case moved extensively around Northland after travelling there on 2 October,” Hipkins said.
“We recognise that it is unusual to put a region into Alert Level 3 when there are no further cases.
“However it’s vitally important that we get ahead of any potential spread, and set up widespread testing and continue contact tracing efforts.”
He said the move was also required because of low vaccination rates in Northland .
Northland’s restrictions will remain in place until at least 11.59pm Tuesday. It will be reviewed at Cabinet on Monday.
Hipkins confirmed Northland’s Alert Level 3 would not include the greater freedoms given to Aucklanders.
He also confirmed two locations of interest in Northland so far.
Hipkins told Northlanders to keep checking the Ministry of Health’s website for details on locations of interest.
“The information we have at this stage is that the person was in Northland from the afternoon of 2 October until the evening of 6 October,” Hipkins said.
“They are believed to have travelled around the region, including in Whangārei, Kamo, Paihia and Kawakawa, before returning to Auckland.”
The Auckland boundary will stay in place.
Hipkins asked people to get tested if they had symptoms,