Covid 19 coronavirus Delta outbreak: Majority vote for South Island alert level change

The votes are in and it is clear whether or not Herald readers think the South Island should stay in lockdown after Friday.

Cabinet will meet tomorrow to consider whether to change the alert level elsewhere apart from Auckland, which remains at level 4 until at least 11.59pm on Tuesday.

A further 62 cases of Covid-19 were reported in the community on Wednesday, and 68 new community cases today.

A poll conducted on the Herald’s Covid-19 liveblog yesterday asked people whether they think the South Island should stay at alert level 4 on Friday if there are still no community cases detected there.

The poll is not scientific and was made up of opinions from the general public.

Out of the 71,366 total votes on the poll, the majority of people, 65.25 per cent, voted no, 27.40 per cent voted yes and 7.35 per cent said they did not know.

Director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield revealed work was under way to look at what an internal boundary between Auckland and the rest of the country would look like, what travel would be permitted across the boundary and how it would be enforced.

Auckland University Covid-19 modeller Professor Shaun Hendy said he expected Auckland to stay in level 4 lockdown for “multiple weeks”.

Hendy agreed a North-South divide would make sense.

“I think at this stage, a North Island and South Island split is probably what we’d be looking at.”

Meanwhile, another day without any cases in the South Island might not be enough for a change of alert levels, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has warned.

”We have contacts of cases spread right throughout the country, people who were at locations of interest spread right throughout the country, so we will look at all of those things when we make a decision, and we still have a couple of days to do before we next have to make those decisions,” he said.

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