The country will today find out whether Auckland will be moving out of alert level 2.5 - but what will that mean for residents?

Under the tailor-made level 2.5, Aucklanders have been able to go to work, shop, travel around the country, and even hold limited gatherings of no more than 10 people.

Meanwhile the rest of New Zealand has been able to do much the same under level 2, except with a higher gathering limit of 100 people.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said if a change is made it will take effect from 11.59pm on Wednesday, September 16. She will make the announcement at 1pm.


"I think we are all feeling like there's a lot still happening," Otago University infectious diseases expert David Murdoch told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking today.

"I think that's going to mean that the decision's going to be made with great caution," he said.

He believed it would be "unlikely" Auckland would move out of level 2.5 today.

The Government would not just be considering how low the numbers were, but also the level of confidence "that everything's mapped" and that there were "no loose ends".

"It's quite a complex process," he said.

The goal of eliminating the virus completely from our shores was "still worth chasing".

Overseas outbreaks had given us an idea of what happened "when you don't do things".

"Naturally, an unchecked outbreak expands exponentially, so the numbers increase dramatically like we've seen in Melbourne and other places.


"We are seeing the impact of what we're doing."

Auckland's stricter controls are an attempt to slow the community outbreak that has now infected 176 people.

Yesterday there were two new cases of Covid-19 announced - one in managed isolation, the other a health care worker at Jet Park Hotel.

University of Otago epidemiologist Michael Baker has also said it is too soon to drop alert levels, given new cases are rolling in each day. He believes Auckland should be kept at level 2.5 for at least another two weeks.

However, he believed it may be safe for the rest of New Zealand to potentially move down in restrictions to an alert level 1.5, but said freeing Auckland up soon would be a mistake.

Keeping Auckland at 2.5 would allow more time for potential undiscovered cases to be identified, Baker said.

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