The boundary preventing Aucklanders travelling outside the city will remain in place next week regardless of whether the city moves to alert level 2.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today said the removal of the boundary will not be up for consideration on Monday when Cabinet meets to discuss whether it is possible to move out of alert level 3 Covid restrictions.
She said the Government would instead look at whether it was possible any other "lower risk" restrictions could be eased next week.
"At the moment, we do have control of the outbreak, but we do have an outbreak so we will continue to assess the role of the boundary as we go," she said.
"But at the moment it is not one of the things I expect to be lifted on Monday."
University of Auckland emeritus professor of medicine Des Gorman was asked on Newstalk ZB about the Government's decision to keep Auckland's border closed at alert level 2.
"I think it may be there for a while," he said of the ring. "But at some stage it's going to have to be relaxed."
"I think the problem for the Government is knowing what the conditions are to enable it to be relaxed. So right now, given that they're not sure what that means, they're just going to say that we need to do something. And one of the things we're going to do is stop Aucklanders from moving out of Auckland."
At some point, it will be feasible to ask Aucklanders to take a test if they want to leave the region, he said.
"I think Aucklanders will find it almost intolerable to be locked up much beyond Labour Weekend, and if the price of travel is that you have to have a test and you have to be vaccinated, then so be it - that's a small price to pay."
Gorman said he thinks it will be both a vaccine and a test that is required.
"I think our contact tracing and our testing capacity has been so poor and our hospitals are so unprepared and the Government will always take a very low-risk approach."
"So the way to be actually be seen to take every step possible will be to require vaccination and some sort of test."
He said he'd be surprised if it wasn't a transition: First the boundaries are closed, then it's closed only to those who haven't had a test and so on.
Ardern was commenting after it was revealed there were 19 Covid cases in the community today.
Eighteen of the cases are in Auckland and the other is a child who attended Mangatangi School, who had been isolating. The school was at the centre of an outbreak earlier this month after children of a gang member freed on parole became infected.
Despite a number of mystery cases circulating, consideration was still being given to whether that alert level would change, and that decision would be made by Cabinet on Monday, Ardern said.
However, she said she talked about boundary restrictions remaining in place to give people certainty.
"We want to get to a position when we can have movement again," she said.
"It causes a huge amount of work for managing the boundary safely and also a huge amount of stress and anxiety for those who are separated."
"Of course, we want to get that movement back, but it needs to be safe."
When asked if the border would remain in place until vaccine rates had climbed above 90 per cent, Ardern said that was not a "connection" being made by the Government.
However, high vaccine rates were the key to lifting all restrictions, she said.
Yesterday there were 45 new cases yesterday, ending a string of days of lower numbers – a result epidemiologist Professor Rod Jackson described as a "wake-up call".
"Auckland is not getting out of level 3 until we don't have mystery cases," Jackson said.