PM Jacinda Ardern announces new travel rules for leaving Auckland

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says new rules for leaving Auckland will include people needing to have a negative Covid-19 test in the 72 hours before their departure.

Ardern announced the changes for people who may need to cross the Auckland boundary at today's media briefing on the Delta outbreak.

There are eight new cases of Covid-19 in the community today and four in managed isolation.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield also spoke at the briefing.

Ardern says from 11.59pm tonight, people will be able to leave Auckland into a level 2 environment if they:

  • Are leaving permanently to a property or travelling to a tertiary education residence
  • For shared caregiving arrangements
  • For returning home from alert level 3 to an alert level 2 environment

Those crossing the boundary for shared caregiving will need to have a test within seven days of each crossing. Everyone must carry proof of why they are travelling and must not be sick.

Ardern says proof of reason for travel includes things like sales and purchase agreements, new job contracts or other documentation.

Students should get in touch with their tertiary accommodation provider beforehand.

Ardern says case-by-case exemptions for travel across the Auckland border for things like funerals and tangi still remains.

She says the situation will require ongoing monitoring.

She says with MIQ bookings, further rooms are being released tonight between 5pm and 6pm. She says there are also thousands more rooms being released in the next few weeks.

"The reason we stagger those releases is because some people may have urgent needs that only arise say, in October and November and it allows those people to get equal access if those needs arise a little closer to the time."

Ardern says it is now six weeks to the day since Delta was reported in Auckland and 2.5 million vaccines have been given since then.

Ardern says that even with 90 percent of eligible people vaccinated, that equals about 75 percent of the total population, which is why having extremely high rates of vaccination really matter.

She says there are new ways to get your vaccination, with events at the Assembly of God church in Te Atatu, and another at the Vodafone events centre in Manukau over the weekend.

There have been 1185 cases to date, of whom 260 are children under 12 and not eligible to be vaccinated.

Of the 925 eligible, 78 percent have had no vaccinations, while just 4 percent were fully immunised - having had their second dose at least two weeks before becoming a case. The remainder had just one dose, with just 17 people in that group.

For the 260 children who are unable to be vaccinated, Dr Bloomfield says they are relying on everyone else to be vaccinated.