It was all going so well, but hopes that Cabinet's review today could see restrictions eased as early as Monday have been dealt a blow.
Yesterday a new case emerged in Auckland that appeared to be unconnected to the existing Auckland cluster or the maintenance worker at Rydges Hotel.
They are an employee of a retail store in Westfield St Luke's who went to work four times after August 12.
Much about the case is still unknown, which casts a cloud over the perimeter of the current outbreak.
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But there are signs for optimism.
The potential for the strain to have ripped through the city in the nine days since August 12 is next to nil because Auckland has been in lockdown lite.
That is supported by the results of the mass testing so far - 154,000 tests and only 80 positive results.
The case may yet be linked to the existing cluster, with the results of genome sequencing expected before PM Jacinda Ardern's press conference at 1pm today.
But there is an information vacuum while we await the test results of close contacts, and if any of them tests positive, the results of testing their close contacts.
This will make Ardern inclined to wait for more information over the weekend and leave D-Day for Monday.
Before the St Luke's case, it could have been argued to bring D-Day forward to today, and to move down alert level settings after the weekend.
Even though the cluster's source remains a mystery, the relatively few cases from the mass testing is a strong sign that New Zealand has avoided the type of Covid explosion that crippled Melbourne.
The cluster and the Rydges case appear to be contained, while the spread outside Auckland is minimal; 60,000 tests outside Auckland have found only three cases, all of which are connected to the cluster.
Almost all of the 2000-odd close contacts - who may still be incubating the virus - have been reached and are isolating.
When Cabinet does decide to move down alert levels, it will consider phasing them in as it did last time New Zealand moved from level 3 to 2.
That was in May, when bars had to wait 10 extra days for level 2 freedoms while social gatherings were initially restricted to 10 people.
A phased move to level 2 could see restrictions remaining on travel in and out of Auckland, given that the outbreak appears to be either confined to the city or to cluster cases that have been isolated before they could spread further.
The rest of the country could move to a tighter level 1, an idea which Bloomfield floated earlier this week.
It could include Taiwan's physical distancing rules of one metre indoors and 1.5m outdoors, and to wear masks where this is not possible.
There still remains an increasingly unlikely possibility that testing over the weekend could throw up more cases unconnected to the current strains.
If that happened, current alert levels could be extended beyond August 26.
Cabinet will also be mindful of what's happened in Melbourne, Hong Kong, and Vietnam.
It would be catastrophic - for the country's wellbeing as well as Labour's re-election chances - to ease restrictions only to see a surge in cases afterwards.