Wellington will move to alert level 3 late on Tuesday, despite being the one location outside of Auckland where cases of Covid-19 have been found in the community.
There were no new cases to report today in Wellington, keeping the total number of cases at 14.
The nationwide lockdown is being extended for another four days. All of the country - except Auckland and Northland - will then drop to alert level 3 at 11.59pm next Tuesday, August 31.
Wellington Mayor Andy Foster said it was good to see the Government clearly signalling this week it was considering the rest of the country as separate to Auckland.
"It's really good news that we are starting to move down alert levels, obviously level 3 is still very restrictive but it does mean some of our businesses can reopen on a contactless basis."
Foster said the change in alert levels would also allow for construction to restart on civic projects like the earthquake strengthening of the Town Hall and St James Theatre and work on the new Tākina convention centre.
"There are also several private sector projects around the city, so it will be great to see orange jackets and hard hats on site."
Limited council services will also resume, including recycling collection.
There has been no glass recycling collections under alert level 4 to protect workers.
"The Delta variant is much more transmissible from the first round, and glass recycling is predominantly bottles, many of which carry saliva residue", the council has previously said.
Other recycling has been picked up under lockdown but taken to landfill.
It has been a week since the first community cases were detected in Wellington, but so far the outbreak has not ballooned to the extent seen in Auckland.
The most recent exposure event in the capital was on Friday, August 20, at Countdown Newtown.
Covid-19 has only been detected in wastewater samples collected from Moa Point and not any other areas of the city.
The Ministry of Health said this likely reflected known cases shedding the virus.
Earlier this week director general of health Ashley Bloomfield said the picture in Wellington was reassuring.
The new cases that have emerged this week were connected with and were close contacts of known cases, he said.
Hoff Hospitality Group owner Matt McLaughlin said alert level 3 wasn't much of a change for the industry.
After last year's lockdown, businesses were excited to offer takeaways in the move back to alert level 3, but everyone just wanted KFC or McDonald's, he said.
"It really wasn't worth opening, it's still pretty tough going at level 3.
"So we're just going to have to sit and wait until we're looking likely to drop to level 2 before we make any inroads."
McLaughlin said he was only intending to open one of his three businesses- the Iron Horse in Miramar.
That was because there were less takeaway options in the suburbs, he said.
"It's also more about getting rid of stock that I already have than actually making any money."
Earlier today the Ministry of Health reported there were 70 new cases of Covid-19 in the community.
All of the new cases were in Auckland, bringing the total number of cases in the community outbreak to 347.
Nineteen of the current community cases are in a stable condition in hospital; one of the cases is in a stable condition in ICU. Of those in hospital, two are in North Shore Hospital, eight are in Middlemore Hospital, and nine are in Auckland City Hospital.