Bloomfield: Our advice was to keep Auckland at L3 Step 1

Source: 1News

The Director-General of Health has revealed he advised the Government to stay with Auckland’s current alert level setting instead of easing restrictions next week.

Dr Ashley Bloomfield and Chris Hipkins

The Government announced on Monday Auckland will, in principle, move to Step 2 of Alert Level 3 at 11.59pm on Tuesday November 9 despite the increasing number of Covid-19 cases in the city.

Dr Ashley Bloomfield told Breakfast on Thursday morning the decision wasn’t what he or his officials recommended.

“Our advice was to stick with the current situation for a little while longer,” Bloomfield said.

“But we also provided additional advice on what additional risk moving to Step 2 would create.”

Bloomfield didn't say how long they would have advised for Auckland to remain in Step 1, saying they "didn't have a preference".

However, Bloomfield said there was confidence the Government's decision to move Auckland to Step 2 posed “very little risk” to the public.

“As we’ve seen through this outbreak in Auckland, there have been almost no cases from those sort of settings that are opened up in Step 2, especially with the use of physical distancing and masks,” he said.

“Our advice was that there was very little increased risk and that we were comfortable with a potential move.”

Bloomfield added the decision will be reviewed again on Monday to ensure nothing drastic had happened over the week to postpone the city's move to Step 2.

“We’ve nearly got 90 per cent in first dose coverage across Auckland – that’s a remarkable achievement and milestone and that will continue to have a big impact on how we can keep people safe here.

“Those increasing vaccine rates are giving us increasing confidence we can ease things in Auckland.”