Northlanders will know today
whether the Covid alert level will change in the region as the number of cases in the Delta outbreak elsewhere surpasses 500.
Far North mayor John Carter said Northland did not need to be tied in a lockdown with Auckland, given that the rest of the country south of Auckland would move down to alert level 3 from 11.59pm tomorrow.
Cabinet will meet again today
to decide on Auckland's alert level, but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has already said it was almost certain that Auckland and Northland would have level 4 extended for at least another week, and Auckland possibly for at least at another two weeks.
Health experts earlier predicted Northland would stay at level 4 for at least another week as a precaution because of concerns over a worker at a rest home near Warkworth testing positive.
However, all residents in that rest home have so far returned negative tests.
"I'd prefer Northland to go down to Level 2 but you don't suddenly expect us to be separated from the rest of New Zealand. I'd rather we were the same as the rest of New Zealand, excluding Auckland, at Level 3," Carter said.
In the main, he said people in the Far North district have behaved responsibly by adhering to Covid protocols and he expected the high level of compliance to continue.
"There's always the odd idiot, but in the main people respect the fact that it's not only about them but about their whanau, neighbour and the community at large, and good on them."
Between 11.59pm on August 17 and 5pm last Saturday, police charged 15 people in Northland with offences relating to Covid breaches.
A further seven warnings were given, two people were referred to Youth Aid, and 148 infringement notices were issued in Northland over that period.
Nationally, 93 have been charged with 99 offences and Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said officers would move to enforcement actions quickly when required, although they still took an education-first approach.
"We would like to remind people that in level four exercise should be in your neighbourhood only and any recreational activity that could lead to a rescue or emergency response is not permitted," Coster said.
His message followed an incident on Saturday
at a mountain bike park in Queenstown where an injured biker had to be flown to Dunedin Hospital. Coster said police would consider enforcement action against the biker for an alleged breach of restrictions.
There were 83 community cases yesterday,
taking the total to 511.
All were in Auckland except one— a close contact of a previous case in Wellington.
The Prime Minister said having positive cases and the lockdown could be hugely unsettling, impacting on mental health, but there were places to go for help.
The Government would put an additional $1 million into increasing support, especially for rangatahi in Northland and Auckland, following a spike in calls to Youthline as a result of the lockdown.
Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced a $7m funding boost over the weekend to help with the distribution of food parcels and wellbeing packs through non-government organisations throughout the country.
Anyone needing support with food should contact 0800 559009.
Northland District Health Board figures show 1852 vaccinations were given in the region on Friday and 1607 on Saturday.
More than 340 Covid tests were done over those days.
Drive-through Covid vaccination clinics are still available for people with a booked appointment only.
More information is available on www.northlanddhb.org.nz/home/covid-19/covid-19-northland-hub/vaccine-programme-information.