Coronavirus: Live updates - Jacinda Ardern's COVID-19 alert level decision, September 14

coronavirus 14/09/2020

This article comes courtesy of Newshub reporter Zane Small

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is set to reveal Cabinet's decision at 1pm on whether to keep Auckland under alert level 2.5 restrictions and the rest of New Zealand at level 2. 

What you need to know:

  • It's been two weeks since Aucklanders woke up to what the Prime Minister described as "level 2.5", with social gatherings limited to 10 people and masks recommended to be worn in public. 
  • The rest of New Zealand has been under level 2 as a precaution for about a month now after community transmission of COVID-19 was discovered in Auckland.
  • Otago University Professor Michael Baker believes there's "a case" for moving the rest of New Zealand down to alert level 1, but wants to see an "alert level 1.5" with a limit on large indoor gatherings. 
  • There are currently 58 active cases of COVID-19 in the community all in Auckland and 39 cases in the Government's managed isolation facilities, bringing the country's total number of active cases to 96. 
  • The Ministry of Health reported one new case of COVID-19 on Monday, a female child linked to the Auckland cluster, who has been in isolation since August 30 due to being a household contact of a confirmed case.

Refresh this page for live updates. 

1:16pm - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that physical distancing is no longer required on planes and public transport because masks are mandatory. Airlines will no longer have to sell fewer seats on planes. 

"I know this change will make a real difference to Air New Zealand and those parts of the country seeking increased numbers of visitors, and the change made demonstrates the willingness on the Government's behalf to constantly review our settings, with everyone's health at the top of our minds," Ardern said. 

1:09pm - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that the current alert level settings will remain in place for the time being, but Cabinet will review the settings next Monday on September 21. 

Ardern said Cabinet will meet next Monday with a view to increase gathering limits for Auckland, which would come into effect on Wednesday, September 23.

Cabinet has agreed in principal to move the rest of New Zealand to alert level 1 on September 21 if there are still no cases beyond Auckland. 

12:53pm - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has given a Facebook update ahead of her announcement on whether to change the alert level settings. 

"We're in Dunedin today. I'm chairing Cabinet from here this morning (virtually) but had a quick moment to spare beforehand so popped down to the new site for Dunedin Hospital to share a wee update!" Ardern captioned the video.

This article comes courtesy of Newshub reporter Zane Small