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Lockdown comes to swift end

Auckland moves back to alert level two but PM cautions that coronavirus transmission risk remains. 
Posted on 17 February, 2021
Lockdown comes to swift end

Dealers are getting ready to welcome back customers after the government’s decision to end the Covid-19 lockdown in Auckland.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, pictured, has announced the region will move to alert level two from 11.59pm on February 17. 

The rest of the country, which has been at alert level two, will shift to level one at the same time.

Those rules will remain in force until the Cabinet reconsiders the situation on February 22.

Auckland was plunged into a 72-hour spell at alert level three following the detection of cases in the community of the more contagious UK strain of the virus.

Three members of a South Auckland family tested positive for the novel coronavirus and the Ministry of Health announced on February 17 two contacts have since also been found to be infected.

The latest lockdown forced automotive businesses and other retailers to resume contactless trading if they wanted to remain open during the snap lockdown.

Companies say the transition to the tougher restrictions was smoother than the two previous lockdowns in the Auckland region but they will welcome the swift return to trading as normal.

Ardern, pictured, says Cabinet has taken a “balanced and cautious approach” to managing the recent outbreak.

She adds level two means Covid is contained “but there’s a risk of community transmission”. 

Her expectation is if the country is in a similar position on February 22, it is likely there will be another drop in alert levels.