New Zealand's largest city goes into three-day lockdown

Auckland New Zealand

Air New Zealand has also responded to the new restrictions by closing lounges in the country's capital, stopping food and beverage service and offering to waive fees passengers pay to change flights.

New Zealand has not had any local virus cases for months until the recent infections and was ranked the best performing in an index of nearly 100 countries based on containment of the coronavirus. By closing its worldwide borders early the island nation virtually eradicated the virus in the early stage of the pandemic.

"We are gathering all of the facts as quickly as we can, and the system that served us so well in the past is really gearing up to do so again", said COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins.

An urgent meeting to discuss the three-day lockdown was convened by Australia's Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly with Chief Health Officers from New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria on Sunday night.

As a precaution, food and beverage on Air New Zealand flights have been suspended for domestic routes.

One is that the virus came from a transit passenger, while another is that it came from worldwide aircrew, who in some cases have their uniforms cleaned at the facility where the infected woman works, she told Radio New Zealand Monday.

Australia has abruptly stopped the green zone travel bubble with New Zealand as Auckland begins a three-day lockdown.

The Ministry said contact tracing had identified 10 close contacts outside the household.

Following the announcement that Auckland will go into an Alert Level 3 lockdown from midnight tonight (2359hrs Sunday February 14), America's Cup Events Ltd has declared that the America's Cup Regatta, the Prada Cup and the Event will shut down for three days.

"It's an encouraging start", said Bloomfield about the fact there had been no new community cases announced today - but the key would be the test results from the community and school which will be processed tomorrow.

"There are a number of gaps in our knowledge around these cases", Hipkins said.

The mother works at works at LSG Sky Chefs, an airport laundry and catering facility at Auckland airport, while the daughter is a student at Papatoetoe High School.

There are five being reported in managed isolation.

Manukau ward councillor Alf Filipaina has urged members of the community to come forward for testing.

"It's important the right people can get access to testing - so please don't rush to a centre if you are well, or if you weren't at one of the locations of interest", says the MOH. The alert level for the remainder of New Zealand will rise to 2, which requires social distancing and signals the risk of community transmission.

Authorities in New Zealand aren't sure how the person contracted COVID-19, but extensive testing is now underway.



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