Auckland moves to alert level one today after 14 days since the last commhnity case of Covid 19, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced.
The decision had been signalled. Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said recently he was “optimistic” Auckland would be at alert level 1 this weekend.
And this morning, senior minister David Parker told the AM Show it was “looking good” for an alert level change.
That optimism was underpinned by the fact there hasn’t been a Covid-19 community case in two weeks – despite the fact there have been tens of thousands of Covid-19 tests in Auckland over that time.
The Government has been under fire after Ardern’s Cabinet met last night to discuss if Auckland’s alert level would be changed.
National leader Judith Collins said Kiwis “deserve more respect” than this.
“Cabinet making an alert level decision [yesterday] but refusing to announce it until tomorrow is the height of arrogance from a Government that has shown itself devoid of understanding about the rigours of trying to operate a business”.
Auckland Business Chamber chief executive Michael Barnett said the public and businesses should have been told promptly.
“This would have enabled businesses time to get ready to welcome customers and visitors back and make the most of having a full weekend of trade to make up for some of the crippling losses from level 3 and 2 restrictions.”
Speaking to media yesterday, Ardern defended the delay between the decision and the announcement.
She said the alert level period was based on Covid-19’s two-week transmission period.
“It’s not just about when we make the decision, it’s about factoring in those time periods.”
The last community Covid-19 case was exactly 14 days ago today.
As many took to social media to voice their frustration about the delay between the decision and the announcement, Ardern’s fiancé Clarke Gayford backed her up on Twitter.
Former Wellington chef Martin Bosley said: “Feeling really sorry for all Auckland Hospo having to wait until 11.30am today to find out about moving levels. It’s utterly ludicrous. Stay strong, my friends. Keep the faith.”
To which Gayford replied: “Martin an inprinciple decision was decided but its all pending on final test results today.”
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