Eight days after the discovery of a Valentine’s Day outbreak in Auckland, COVID-19 restrictions have been removed from New Zealand’s biggest city.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Monday that Auckland would join the rest of the country at alert level one as of midnight.
The Ministry of Health announced the discovery of an eighth linked community case on Monday, but that didn’t deter the government lowering alert levels.
Ms Ardern said the eight positive results from 72,368 tests over the past week was proof the outbreak was under control.
“This decision reflects the incredible work on behalf of All New Zealanders over the last week. And we thank you,” she said.
“The recent cluster of cases is a stark reminder that so long as COVID is rampant in the rest of the world, we will be at risk.”
Auckland spent three days in lockdown last week, dropping down to alert level two on Thursday.
The government has decided to maintain a feature of level two – a mask mandate across NZ for public transport users and rideshare drivers – within its alert level one settings.
Health officials said the latest case is a household contact of cases announced last week.
The person had spent the previous week isolating, and was moved to a quarantine facility on Friday, suggesting a “very low” public health risk.
NZ’s COVID-19 vaccination program is also continuing after the country’s receipt of its dosage last week.
Health professionals and border workers in Auckland were the first to receive their vaccinations, and those in Wellington joined them on Monday.
Vaccinations among Christchurch workers will begin from Wednesday.