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Auckland moves to level 1 from midday today

Mar 12, 2021

Auckland will move to alert level 1 from midday today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced.

In a media conference at 11.30am today, Ardern said Cabinet met last night to make a preliminary decision on the alert levels.

"In order to confirm our decision today, we wanted three important things to occur - first there were no new community cases overnight," she said.

The announcement follows six days of alert level 2.

All of the 15 cases from the February cluster are either in quarantine or recovered, Ardern said.

She thanked Aucklanders.

"Covid requires a team effort. If you're not actively scanning in, please. Turn on bluetooth if you're not using it... businesses... please make QR codes highly visible."

"Look after one another and enjoy your weekend."

It has been 14 days since the last community case - a whole transmission cycle, Ardern said.

Meanwhile, Auckland's hospitality industry was left on tenterhooks last night on the eve of three big days of America's Cup racing.

After 11 days of no community cases of Covid-19, Cabinet met yesterday to decide if the city could escape the shackles of level 2 - but Aucklanders have to wait until today for their verdict.

It's a busy sporting weekend for the city with America's Cup events and a Super Rugby Aotearoa match between the Blues and Highlanders at Eden Park scheduled for Sunday.

The Auckland Arts Festival also has dozens of shows and events planned through until 21 March.

A move to alert level 1 would make a lot of difference, especially for retail and hospitality businesses in the CBD, chief executive Nick Hill of Auckland Unlimited, the city council's economic and cultural agency said.

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