New Zealand’s Largest City to Enter Seven-Day Lockdown

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a lockdown for the nation’s largest city Auckland while authorities investigate a new case of Covid-19 in the community that couldn’t be directly linked to the previous cases.

Auckland will enter a seven-day lockdown from 6 a.m. Sunday, Ardern said at a news conference late Saturday after an emergency Cabinet meeting. Auckland will now move to alert level three, while the level for the remainder of New Zealand will rise to two, she said.

Saturday’s decision came after a sibling of a Papatoetoe High School student who’d had some contact with recent Auckland community cases tested positive for Covid-19. Ardern said no definitive connection could be made between the new case and the earlier outbreak, as the student had tested negative three times and had no symptoms. This unclear link prompted the government to implement a lockdown, she said.

Under alert level three, public venues including playgrounds, libraries and gyms are closed and public events are canceled. Supermarkets, pharmacies and petrol stations can remain open.

Auckland earlier this month ended a three-day lockdown after authorities expressed confidence that the latest community outbreak of Covid-19 was small and contained.

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