Auckland goes back into lockdown after first virus cases in 102 days

Auckland has gone into a three-day lockdown after four new cases of COVID-19 were discovered this week.

New Zealand has recorded 102 days without any community transmissions.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the move to level 3 restrictions from today, which includes limiting gatherings to less than 10 people, were a “precautionary approach”.

“This is something we have prepared for,” Ardern said. “We have had 102 days and it was easy to feel New Zealand was out of the woods. No country has gone as far as we did without having a resurgence. And because we were the only ones, we had to plan. And we have planned.”

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said he urged Aucklanders “to come together like we did last time to stamp out community transmission”.

The rest of New Zealand was put under stage 2 restrictions, with social distancing measures applied again and mass gatherings limited to 100 people.