Ardern says Auckland Covid cases 'plateauing'

Source: 1News

High vaccination rates are helping drive down the Covid-19 outbreak in Auckland, the Prime Minister and Director-General of Health say.

The details of which regions would go into either Red or Orange as the Government's traffic light system starts on Friday were announced at Monday's 4pm post-Cabinet address.

Auckland will move into the highest phase, Red, at the end of the week, along with Northland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes Districts, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki Districts, Gisborne District, Wairoa District, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu Districts.

Auckland has been in either a Level 3 or 4 lockdown now for 104 days.

Asked what it would take for Auckland to move into Orange, Ardern said the "plateauing" of Auckland's cases driven by high vaccination rates will help the city's case.

"For them [Auckland] it turns more to outbreak and just the ongoing outbreak management, so that's what we will be looking to," Ardern said.

She said modellers have described a "plateauing" of cases "which is really positive" but says the pattern needs to "really bed in".

Director-General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield agreed and said it would be "interesting to see" as the region moves to the Red setting, what emerges, as more venues open up with the use of vaccine passes.

"We have seen this plateauing in the situation when Auckland moved from level 3.1 to 3.2, so it's a good sign and it really does reflect the high vaccination rates."

He said a continuing of the plateau in cases will "be a good sign the outbreak is under control".

It comes as 167 cases of the Delta variant were announced in Auckland on Monday.