Mayor Phil Goff says the government’s decision to return Auckland to COVID-19 Alert Level 1 from 12pm on Friday 12 March is great news. However, he says we need to temper celebrations with the awareness that the rampant nature of the virus internationally and the number of returning New Zealanders in quarantine who are testing positive means we cannot rule out further incursions.
“The strongest protection against community transmission will be the widespread vaccination of New Zealanders,” Mayor Goff says.
“With Aucklanders most often the ones forced to live under the restrictions of Level 2 and 3, it makes sense for Aucklanders to get vaccinated after sections of the community most at risk and before the general rollout of the vaccine across the country.
“I want health authorities and the government to take the level of risk and the burden carried by this community into account before the general rollout of the vaccine in July.
“As New Zealand’s largest city and international border Auckland has significantly more managed isolation and quarantine facilities than the rest of the country combined—nine times as many as Wellington and three times as many as Christchurch.
“Auckland is the region most susceptible to another outbreak. We don’t want to face the health risks of a further incursion and we want to avoid the costs imposed on jobs, incomes and business by going into lockdown. I hope these facts are taken into account when the wider rollout is implemented.”