Jacinda Ardern extends Auckland Covid lockdown for two weeks

·2 min read
Jacinda Ardern extends Auckland Covid lockdown for two weeks

New Zealand’s biggest city Auckland will remain in lockdown for at least two more weeks as it looks to control the spread of the Delta variant.

Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern announced, on Monday, there will be no changes in current social restrictions.

The rules have been in place for more than two months in Auckland under alert level three.

In Australia, Melbourne is to lift its stay-at-home orders this week after spending more time in lockdown than any other city in the world.

By Friday when some curbs will be lifted, Melbourne will have been under six lockdowns totalling 262 days - about nine months - since March 2020.

The city is home to five million people.

Thousands of children returned to school in Sydney on Monday, putting an end to months of home learning thanks to rising vaccination rates.

The city is set to open its borders to fully vaccinated Australians without needing to self isolate for 14 days from November 1.

Masks are no longer mandatory in offices and larger groups are to be allowed in homes and outdoors after the state of New South Wales, home to Sydney, hit a double-dose inoculation rate of 80 per cent at the weekend among those older than 16.

Officials warn Australia’s strategy to living with the virus will bring a greater number of Covid cases in coming weeks.

In New Zealand, experts remain concerned that an early move out of lockdown could risk overwhelming the health system, despite its ongoing vaccination rollout.

Infections are increasing in the country, with 52 new cases reported on average each day.

There have been 4,991 infections and 28 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the country since the pandemic began.

At least 6,113,819 vaccines have been administered so far which indicates around 62 per cent of the country are double jabbed.

Ms Ardern has not yet announced when restrictions will be loosened as the vaccination programme contiues.

However, she previously ruled out easing public health measures before the country reaches 90 per cent and said the country is not prepared to try the UK’s policy of living with Covid.

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