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First COVID case in 102 days sends Auckland back into stage 3 lockdown

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden has confirmed four new cases of coronavirus in Auckland, the first new reported infections in the country for the last 102 days.

Auckland is set to take a precautionary approach, moving to level three restrictions for three days while the rest of the country returns to level two restrictions.

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Photo: AAP

Auckland will move to level three restrictions after the NZ Prime Minister confirmed four new cases of coronavirus, the first reported infections in 102 days.

While the four cases are all from the same family in South Auckland, the source of the virus still remains unknown at this stage.

“While we have worked hard to avoid this scenario, we have also prepared for it,” Prime Minister Arden stated in an emergency press conference. Level three measures are being treated as a precautionary measure, with health officials are also undertaking work to trace the origin of the infection.

“We have had a 102 days [without a new case] and it was easy to feel New Zealand was out of the woods,” Arden added. The first of the positive cases were tested on Monday, after presenting symptoms to their GP. The test was processed twice and returned two positive results both times. Close contacts of the family have since been tested and will remain in isolation for the mandatory 14-day period.

Under the restrictions, Auckland citizens will be asked to stay home from work and school, bars, and many businesses will be closed with gatherings strictly limited to under 10 people. Level two restrictions will be applied throughout the rest of the country, meaning that social distancing will be implemented once again and gatherings restricted to 100 people.