Auckland to remain in lockdown for two more weeks

Jacinda Arden, New Zealand, Covid restrictions
Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden

New Zealand’s largest city will remain in lockdown for at least two more weeks, although some coronavirus restrictions will be eased from Tuesday.

Auckland has been in the strictest form of lockdown for just over a month, the longest stretch since the pandemic began.

New Zealand has taken an unusual zero-tolerance approach to the coronavirus and has been trying to completely eliminate an outbreak of the delta variant.

However, the outbreak has proved stubborn, with the city continuing to report about 20 new local cases each day.

And the outbreak has spread beyond Auckland after an infected prisoner was bailed to his home in a small rural town.

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern has said she is confident the lockdown is working and there is not widespread undetected transmission.

From Tuesday, Aucklanders will be able to buy takeaway restaurant food, and some workplaces can reopen.

But most people will still be required to live and work from home, and schools will remain closed.

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