New Zealand is certainly not in better shape in terms of Covid numbers than in May, the last time Cabinet had to decide between levels 3 and 2.
But the public health response is now much stronger, pushing the case to lift lockdown lite in Auckland.
On May 11, daily case numbers had been single digits for three weeks and dragging close to zero for two weeks. It had been 10 days since the last case that couldn't be linked to a source.
These numbers were the foundation of lifting level 3.
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Yesterday the new daily cases in the current outbreak fell to just one, down from six the day before and nine on Friday. There are cases to be wary of, but they all have reasons to be of tepid concern.
There are the three cases not linked to the cluster and still under investigation.
The Rydges maintenance worker may have caught Covid-19 after being in an elevator shortly after a Covid-infected traveller. All relevant workers and household contacts have tested negative.
Of the other two cases, they both tested positive on Friday and have no travel history outside Auckland in the past 14 days.
One was asymptomatic, and all household contacts have tested negative.
The other had symptoms on August 15 - three days after lockdown lite started. Close contacts are being followed up.
The results of genomic sequencing on both of them - which may link them to an existing case - may be back in time for Cabinet's decision.
Another potential lockdown-extender are the five South Auckland church services that were attended by positive cases.
The latest update from the ministry is that 222 people went to those services, and only 18 are still to be tested. Seven of those 18 are still yet to be contacted.
Finally there is the positive case who appears to have infected the St Lukes worker while they were both on a bus, which was stuck in traffic for two and a half hours as Auckland went into lockdown. Seven people on the bus are yet to be contacted.
All this emphasises how important it was for the Government to put Auckland into level 3.
In the unlikely event of all seven people on the bus catching Covid-19, they have hopefully been at home dutifully coughing into elbows, keeping an eye out for symptoms, and using the Covid Tracer app if they went to the store to buy toilet paper.
Growing confidence that the worst is behind us is built on the heroic work to have had 190,000 tests since the outbreak was detected.
And then there is contact-tracing, which went from abysmal back in March to being significantly strengthened but untested.
The latest Health Ministry figures for August 14 to 20 - the middle of the current outbreak - is that 79 per cent of close contacts were identified and isolated within 48 hours of a positive test result.
The benchmark is 80 per cent. Room for improvement, but hardly a deficiency so grand as to force an extension of lockdown lite.
Another improvement since May is the isolation of all close contacts - either at a quarantine facility or a bespoke arrangement - for 14 days regardless of whether they test negative.
If Ardern does move to lift level 3 in the City of Sails, expect a staged move.
She could keep some restrictions on travel in and out of Auckland, get Aucklanders to wear masks on public transport - including bus rides that might get stuck in traffic jams - and limit social gatherings, especially indoor ones, to well under the level 2 standard of 100 people.
There is a good case to have the rest of the country at level 1. The handful of cases outside Auckland are all linked to the cluster and haven't passed on any Covid-19.
A level 1.5 - floated by Ashley Bloomfield last week and supported by public health experts - could placate non-Aucklanders and give them extra freedoms without fuelling the envy of Auckland too much.
Cabinet's decision is not as clear-cut as previous ones.
Ardern will have the disaster in Melbourne in mind, but also be feeling the pressure of businesses doing it tough, and be aware of the dozens of Aucklanders who flocked to public playgrounds and skate parks at the weekend.
And she may also be more cautious than usual, given the looming election.
If she gets today's decision wrong and the dreaded lockdown yo-yo reappears before October 17, it could see public confidence in the Government's Covid-response evaporate.