Alert Level 2 measures are now in place for Wellington, Wairarapa and Kāpiti Coast to the north of Ōtaki, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says.
These measures are precautionary, following the potential exposure of New Zealanders to a COVID-19 case from Sydney. The person visited a range of locations in Wellington from 19-21 June while they may have been infectious.
Alert Level 2 came in at 6pm this evening, and will be in place for the next four days while testing and contact tracing is underway.
This decision will be reviewed by Cabinet on Sunday.
The rest of New Zealand remains at Alert Level 1, however it is important that anybody who travels outside of Wellington takes the Alert Level 2 behaviours with them. This will help New Zealanders to keep each other safe.
Alert Level 2
Alert Level 2 means limits on the size of gatherings to 100 people. Gatherings pose the biggest risk of spread, so this includes weddings, birthdays, funerals, tangi and church services.
It means social distancing: 2 metres in public places, and in retail stores like supermarkets and clothes shops, and at least 1 metre in most other places like workplaces, cafes, restaurants and gyms.
Face masks remain compulsory on all public transport.
“However I encourage people to also wear their masks while waiting for public transport, and in taxis and rideshare services,” Chris Hipkins said.
“I also ask that people wear a face covering in any situation where physical distancing is not possible.”
Businesses can open but must follow public health rules, including ensuring physical distancing, record keeping and the cap of 100 people. Schools and ECE services also remain open. Hospitality venues can open but must apply the three S’s – Seated, Separated, and Single Server.
If you are sick, please stay at home; don’t go to work or school and don’t socialise. If you have symptoms of a cold or flu, or aches and pains, call your doctor or Healthline and ask about getting tested.
Keep track of where you’ve been at all times. This case is a reminder of the need to use the COVID Tracer App and maintain an accurate record of your movements.
Managing potential risk
“This is the first time that we have moved up to Alert Level 2 to manage the potential risk of COVID-19 in the community,” Chris Hipkins said.
“This is not a lockdown. If we all contribute and follow the health behaviours at Alert Level 2 we can break any potential transmission.
“I want to reiterate that these are precautionary measures which will remain in place while we contact trace and test everyone we need to.
“First and foremost we want to ensure New Zealanders are not unnecessarily exposed to COVID-19.”