17 August 2021

One virus case puts New Zealand into Nationwide Lockdown.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern put the nation into a three-day lockdown after the discovery of the first community case of Covid-19 since February.

The snap lockdown will begin at midnight tonight (17) as authorities rush to identify the source of a single infection in largest city Auckland, Ardern said at a news conference Tuesday (17) in Wellington. While genome sequencing has yet to be completed, the case is assumed to be the highly infectious delta variant, she said.

It is New Zealand’s first nationwide lockdown since the initial pandemic response over a year ago. Under so-called Alert Level 4, all schools, public venues and most businesses must close and people are urged to wear a face covering if they need to venture out. Only shops providing essential services such as groceries, gasoline and health products can stay open.

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