Following public health advice, the Government has agreed to extend the Waikato Alert Level 3 boundary to the south, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said.
“Although today’s news has been encouraging, with new cases in Waikato being linked to previously identified cases, this is a prudent step to take,” Chris Hipkins says.
“The extension announced today will cover the Waitomo District including Te Kuiti, as well as the Waipa and Otorohanga Districts.
“It means the boundary will follow the coast south to Mokau, then east along to northern Pureora Forest Park, and then north to include Te Awamutu, Karapiro and Cambridge to meet the existing boundary.
“These areas will come under Level 3 restrictions from 11.59pm tonight and I want to make it clear that this is a strict Level 3. The easing steps announced for Auckland earlier this week don’t apply to this area.
“These Level 3 restrictions will apply until 11.59pm on Monday night, and will be reviewed at Cabinet on Monday.
“During this time, there will be further wide testing, contact tracing, and waste water testing to help us assess whether restrictions in the Waikato need to remain in place.
“The extended boundary we are announcing today will include Hamilton Airport. Travel out and in of the area by road or air is restricted. You will need to carry evidence of why you are travelling and police will be patrolling the boundary.
“People should stay home.
“As well as staying home, we need everyone in the area to get tested and get vaccinated. There is a pop-up testing centre at Karapiro and five testing sites operating in Hamilton, Raglan, Huntly, and Tokoroa to help you do that.
“People should get tested if they develop symptoms or have been at a location of interest.
“As for vaccination – we know it’s the best tool we have to provide everyone with their individual armour against COVID-19. We all want to reduce the need for prolonged lockdowns in the future,” Chris Hipkins said.
Movement within Waikato
An updated boundary map for the extended Waikato alert level region will be available later today: 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 is available on the Unite Against COVID-19 website.
Travel in and out of Auckland’s Alert Level 3 boundaries is not impacted by the introduction of the new boundaries in the Waikato.