As of 11:59pm last night (Sunday 3 October), north west Waikato moved into Alert Level 3 for five days, a move COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says will help limit possible further community transmission of the virus.
“This temporary measure gives us time to assess the situation and gather information from the contact tracing and community testing now underway, to help find the source of the cases announced on Sunday,” Chris Hipkins says.
“Limiting movement within north west Waikato for this temporary period will limit the Delta variant’s opportunity to spread while that important work goes on.
“As with the other recent ‘bespoke’ alert level in Hauraki, and the ongoing restrictions for Auckland, we recognise the impact these decisions will have on the lives of people in the north west Waikato.
“However, given the cases announced on Sunday, it was absolutely essential we moved swiftly to stop Delta in its tracks. This temporary restriction is one of three key tools which will help prevent that.
“Getting vaccinated – and getting tested if you’re symptomatic – are the two other vital actions people in Waikato can take right now to help.
“Straight away yesterday, we saw a really strong show of support from people to get tested and the DHB will be making sure that response is supported again today.
“There are plenty of free testing opportunities available right around the region, including at some GP clinics as well as at community sites. These are all listed on the Healthpoint website.
“COVID-19 symptoms include fever, new or worsening cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, sneezing and runny nose, and temporary loss of smell or altered sense of taste.
“If you’ve got any of these symptoms, please don’t hesitate to get a free test.
“And finally, I can’t stress enough the importance of vaccination in Waikato, and right around New Zealand.
“The best ongoing defence against the impact of COVID-19 will be for as many New Zealanders as possible to get vaccinated – the more people who’re vaccinated the harder it becomes for the virus to keep moving.
“We’re asking people in Waikato to prioritise getting vaccinated today if they haven’t done so already,” Chris Hipkins said.
“Make that first appointment now – every dose counts.”
Movement within Waikato
A boundary map for the north west Waikato alert level region is now available online: https://covid19.govt.nz/travel/permitted-travel-at-different-alert-levels/alert-level-boundary-map/
People can travel in and out of the Waikato Alert Level 3 area for limited permitted reasons. This includes for work in permitted business and services.
People can also cross into the Waikato Alert Level 3 area from an Alert Level 2 area to work in any business or service which is open in the Alert Level 3 area.
But people cannot cross from the Waikato Alert Level 3 area to work in an Alert Level 2 area, except for work in permitted businesses and services.
If you are travelling in and out of the Waikato Alert Level 3 area – other than across the boundary with Auckland – you are not required to provide evidence of a recent test.
If you must travel, carry evidence of the purpose of travel and be prepared to explain reasons for travel should they be stopped at a checkpoint or spot check.
A formal business travel document is not required however we recommend people source a letter from their employer confirming place of work and need to travel
More information and travel advice will be available on the Unite Against COVID-19 website.