Following two unlinked community cases reported in the Far North, the north of the region will move to Alert Level 3 from 11:59 tonight, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced today.
“A boundary will be put in place which will run through the centre of the Hokianga Harbour to the Mangamuka Junction on SH 1 to the Kaeo River Bridge on SH 10 and East Bay to help prevent any potential spread,” Chris Hipkins said.
“People must stay home in their bubble, monitor for symptoms and get tested if they are feeling unwell. It is recommended to wear a face covering when leaving the house and use the NZ COVID Tracer App to record any movements.”
While today’s reported case is a household contact of a case reported yesterday, both cases are unlinked to the other cases in Northland at this stage.
Contact tracing and public health interviews are underway to identify any locations of interest and close contacts, and Northlanders are urged to check the Ministry of Health website for updates on locations of interest.
“Vaccination rates for Northland are currently at 79% for first doses, and 65% for second doses. These rates are still not high enough for us to be confident that communities would be sufficiently protected in the case of a wider outbreak,” Chris Hipkins said.
“In Northland yesterday 1,125 tests were processed and 1,161 vaccinations provided. We want these numbers to rise, and encourage Northlanders to use this time to go and get vaccinated.
“If you have had your first shot already, you can get your second shot after 3 weeks.
“If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, even if these are mild, get tested as soon as possible.”
Guidance for travel in Northland:
People can travel in and out of the Northland Alert Level 3 area for limited permitted reasons. This includes for work in permitted business and services.
People can also cross into the Northland 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.
However people cannot cross from the Northland 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 Northland Alert Level 3 area 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 you 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.
Cabinet will review the Alert Level 3 settings in Northland on Monday 8 November.