An Australian top health official has labeled New Zealanders' move to pre-pandemic life after eradicating COVID-19 as "very dangerous.
New Zealand moved to alert level 1 on June 8 which meant a return to normal, pre-pandemic life.
Australian acting chief medical officer Paul Kelly, told the Australian Senates coronavirus enquiry that New Zealand's move to alert level 1 has left the country susceptible to an outbreak, 7News reports.
"To go right back to a pre-COVID state makes them extremely vulnerable," he said
Kelly said the relaxation of restrictions in New Zealand and the current outbreak serves as an example for states in Australia that are performing well in the fight against COVID-19.
"What has happened in New Zealand is a real example of why we have to remain cautious."
New Zealand went up alert levels on Wednesday after an outbreak of COVID-19 in Auckland. Auckland went to alert level 3 lockdown while the rest of the country went to alert level 2.
On Friday Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern extended the alert levels. Auckland's alert level 3 and the rest of the country's alert level 2 is due to end at midnight on August 26, this extension will be reviewed on August 21.
Kelly said New Zealand's initial lockdown worked well to contain and eliminate COVID-19 but believes the government should have continued to limit mass gatherings and enforce social distancing after eradicating the virus.
New Zealand has reported 37 cases of community transmission since Tuesday.