Jacinda Ardern has announced that the country will remain at the current Alert Levels; Level 2.5 in Auckland and Level 2 for the rest of New Zealand.
Cabinet will review the Alert Levels again on Monday 21 September. For Auckland this would mean any changes, such as an increase in gathering numbers, would go into effect the following Wednesday. For the rest of the country, the Prime Minister announced that in principle, they would move down to Alert Level 1 at 11.59pm on Monday 21, provided case numbers have not increased.
The government has lifted social distancing measures for public transport – a relief for Air New Zealand which has been struggling with limited passenger numbers. Ardern noted that it was mask-wearing that was key in this decision making and the wearing of face coverings remains mandatory on public transport under Alert Level 2.
Ardern cautioned that rushing into Alert Level 1 could have ongoing harmful effects on the New Zealand economy if we continue to bounce up and down levels.
Auckland hospitality will have to struggle on with Level 2.5 restrictions for at least another week.