Health Minister on Auckland's level 3 lockdown

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 12 Aug 2020, 8:13AM
Photo / File

Health Minister on Auckland's level 3 lockdown

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 12 Aug 2020, 8:13AM

Aucklanders are urgently preparing to return to level-3 lockdown this morning, with supermarkets and motorways busy and companies gearing up to ensure workers can work from home once again.

Police road blocks will be set up at entrances to the Auckland region - and the Government confirmed this morning it was working with lawyers on a legal notice to make masks mandatory for Aucklanders out and about in the public.

New Zealand's biggest city will move back into alert level-3 lockdown from midday today, and the rest of New Zealand into level 2.

A Civil Defence alert was sent to mobile phones at 6.55am today, following a similar alert last night. "If you are in Auckland, STAY HOME where possible and follow Alert Level 3 guidelines. This will stop the transmission of Covid-19 and SAVE LIVES," the alert said.

Four cases from same family: PM

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the return to levels 3 and 2 last night after confirming four cases of community transmission in South Auckland - all from the same family, but with no known source.

Health Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed work colleagues of one of the family members are also showing symptoms. There are reports at least two colleagues are affected so far.

He said it was a "relatively small" workforce affected.

One of the children in the family attends Mt Albert Primary School - the school is closed for 72 hours and the child has been tested, according to a health notice. Officials are awaiting the test results.

"Auckland Regional Public Health Service and the Ministry of Education will work with the school principal to decide if there has been any exposure to Covid-19 at the school. A decision will be made about whether there needs to be testing at the school," the health notice says.

Hipkins told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking the family had been offered quarantine but he did not know if they had been moved yet. "The family is being very cooperative; I imagine they will take up the offer."

"The first I heard of this was between 3pm and 3.30pm yesterday," Hipkins said. "The director general [of health] was the first person who notified me."

The restrictions will last for three days - at this stage - and end at midnight on Friday.

Hipkins said the Government would be testing about 50,000 people by the end of the week. "We will know a lot more in 72 hours than we do now," said Hipkins.