Ardern not ruling out moving Auckland to Level 4

Source: 1News

Jacinda Ardern is not ruling out a return to Alert Level 4 in Auckland if the current Delta outbreak worsens.

Speaking on Breakfast on Monday, the Prime Minister said Level 4 was harsh, took a heavy toll and was not something the Government would reimpose lightly.

But Ardern urged Aucklanders to abide by the current Level 3 restrictions to avoid going backwards.

"We are continuing to take a really aggressive approach in Tāmaki Makaurau so we are continuing," she said.

"What we did on day one of this outbreak we are still doing right now, so every time we have a case we take that, stamp it out approach, we contact trace it, if we don't know its origin we genome sequence.

"We continue to be very, very aggressive and that's why we need people to help us with complying and just continuing with those restrictions as well because we don't have enough resilience from vaccines yet to stop this outbreak with just that individual armour of vaccines, so we need both - we need the restrictions, we need vaccines and we need to control this outbreak."

Cabinet will meet to make a decision on alert levels, with an announcement at 4pm on Monday.

Ahead of the announcement, Ardern told Breakfast New Zealand's Level 4 was the harshest restrictions in the world, acknowledging the toll it takes.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

"We constantly look at everything that's happening around an outbreak and we will always consider what we can do to better control, and so whilst I've said that we haven't been considering a move back to Level 4, we have been constantly keeping under advisement what more can we do to try and ensure the containment of this outbreak," she said.

"We will be waiting for advice from our health officials today in making the decision at Cabinet."

The alert level decision will be broadcast on TVNZ1, 1news.co.nz and the 1News Facebook page.

It comes after 60 new Covid-19 cases, including a Bay of Plenty case which is now no longer a case , were  announced in New Zealand  on Sunday.

There were 29 people reported in hospital with Covid-19 on Sunday, including seven in intensive care or a high dependency unit.