While Auckland remains at Alert Level 4 until 11.59pm Tuesday 14 September, the rest of the country will move to Alert Level 2 at 11.59 tomorrow, 7 September.
However, this is Delta Level 2. Face coverings are mandatory inside facilities. You can remove masks to eat and drink at hospitality venues, but all staff at public-facing businesses open at Level 2 must wear face coverings.
Scanning in will be compulsory at close contact businesses such as restaurants, cafes, bars, nightclubs, hairdressers and private venues.
There are two more changes to Level 2:
- hospitality and event venues have a limit of 50 people indoors. Outdoor spaces can have up to 100 people.
- The other change is to other indoor facilities like gyms and museums. These venues are now classified the same as retail and supermarkets - so there's a 2 metre rule in place.
Over the next week, the government and the Ministry of Health want to improve their confidence that there’s no undetected community transmission in Auckland and will be maintaining a network of testing sites across the region.
They will also work with employers to implement surveillance testing for those crossing the Auckland border for essential work. This won't be at a cost for businesses or employees. These people will be expected to have had a test in the last seven days and must show proof of it. It's likely to be an email or text message. Spot checks will be done to ensure this testing is being done.
The new testing rule for essential workers comes into play from 11.59pm on Thursday.
Bloomfield thanked essential workers for keeping everyone safe.
“The sole purpose is to stamp out the Delta outbreak and move Auckland down Alert Levels quickly and safely,” he said.
Cabinet will meet next Monday to decide the next steps.
For more information on the new Alert Level 2 rules, click here.