Government open to idea of regional bubbles “these are all possibilities on the table”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Aug 22, 2021 |

The Government is considering the possibility of regional bubbles.

It follows today’s news that there are 21 new cases of COVID-19 in the New Zealand community, bringing the total number of cases in the community outbreak to 72.

Of the 21 new cases, 20 are in Auckland and one is in Wellington – this case was previously reported publicly yesterday but has officially been added to the total case numbers today. Wellington’s number of community cases remains at six.

Of the 72 cases, 61 cases are now confirmed as part of the Auckland cluster, with the remaining 11 under investigation to confirm linkage to the outbreak. Initial assessment shows in most cases there is a link.

ESR continues to run whole genome sequencing on samples taken from all new cases to support ongoing investigations into the outbreak.

ESR has completed sequencing for 17 of these cases, including the three Wellington cases reported yesterday, and found all have genome links to the Auckland cluster.

There are three new cases in recent returnees in a managed isolation facility.

Covid 19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins was asked whether the Government would consider regional bubbles, particularly given as there are no reported cases of Covid19 in the South Island.

Hipkins said “I can tell you that our planners for sometime now have worked on a whole variety of different scenarios for different challenges up and down the country, and that includes a variety of different regional boundaries that could be applied, whether its original boundary for Auckland or regional boundary for Auckland and the Coromandel and the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regional boundary for Wellington.”

He said “these are all possibilities that are on the table, but what I would say is we will give people plenty of notice at such time as we are looking to move. “

Minister Hipkins said the situation could change rapidly with what “we might end up with tomorrow, because there’s still more information to gather.”

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]

Have you got a news tip? Get in touch here

got a news tip?