Health expert: New Zealand outside of Auckland should move to Level 2

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Sep 05, 2021 |

Professor Michael Baker, from University of Otago believes “it should be safe to move New Zealand, outside Auckland, down to Alert Level 2 after Tuesday this week.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is expected to make an announcement on revised Covid-19 Alert Levels tomorrow afternoon.

He said “this change requires three conditions. Obviously there should be no evidence of ongoing transmission of Covid-19 outside Auckland. Secondly, Alert Level 2 needs to be enhanced to include measures to prevent spread of a respiratory disease like Covid-19. And thirdly, there need to be measures in place to minimise the risk of essential workers infected with Covid-19 carrying the virus from Auckland to other parts of the country.”

“Our group at the University of Otago, Wellington, have described how we think Alert Level 2 should be enhanced to provide a more effective barriers to Covid-19 transmission. The essential changes are firstly to require mask use in all indoor environments outside the home, including workplaces, schools and social meeting places.”

“We know that physical distancing alone will not be enough to combat the highly infectious Delta variant which is transmitted easily through aerosols.”

“Secondly, we recommend introducing a new ‘Alert Level 2 plus’ to provide a higher level of protection against transmission of this virus. The main additional measures at this level would be keeping the highest risk indoor environments closed while the risk of virus circulation is elevated and further limits on gathering sizes.”

“Having an additional Alert Level would allow a more nuanced response to Covid-19. For example, it might be appropriate to move the South Island down to Alert Level 2, and the North Island outside Auckland to Alert Level 2 plus recognising that its proximity to Auckland means that additional measures are needed to minimise the size of outbreaks that could be generated by any undetected cases in the community.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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