Upper Hauraki's stint in level 4 has been short lived with the area centring around Mangatangi moving to level 3 along with the rest of Auckland this morning.
The move is three days early for the area, which was put into a bespoke level 4 lockdown on Monday night while the Government ascertained how far the virus had spread in the area after two Mangatangi School students and another household member tested positive for Covid.
A section 70 notice for people in and around Mangatangi was issued effectively increasing the border around Auckland and yesterday morning police moved the southern boundary checkpoints to reflect the change.
The small rural communities in upper Hauraki and north Waikato got tested for Covid with 555 tests carried out in the first day.
However upper Hauraki residents were expecting to stay in level 4 until midnight Friday despite having to travel to level 3 areas such as Pokeno for their closest supermarket after the new checkpoints prevented them from going to Thames or Ngatea for groceries.
But Coromandel MP Scott Simpson broke the good news on Facebook last night saying he had received good news from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and that the Upper Hauraki was also moving to alert level at 11.59pm on Tuesday.
Hauraki mayor Toby Adams said the section 70 was used to create a different cross area of lockdown and he now expected the area to remain in level 3 with Auckland for the next two weeks.
"The difference between level 3 and 4 is not a lot - it's just level 3 with KFC."
The change in rules just a day after they had moved to level 4 has baffled the community who had at least been expecting an official announcement from the Prime Minister about it, he said.
However Adams said he had received confirmation about the move to level 3 after just one day in level 4 late yesterday afternoon.
Waikato District Whangamarino ward councillor Jan Sedgwick, whose area includes in Mangatangi, also learnt of the change to level 3 yesterday afternoon and said introducing a snap 'bespoke' boundary was always going to startle people and create a lot of issues.
A lot of the unnecessary confusion appeared to have arisen through extraordinarily poor communication by various government departments – not only to the public, but to themselves, she said.
"I feel for the folk in Mangatangi, who, through no fault of their own, have been the end of the government's indecisive yoyo."
Director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield told Newshub this morning that so far no one else in the wider Mangatangi community had tested positive for the virus.
He thanked residents for getting behind the response and turning out in large numbers to get tested.