Coronavirus: Aucklanders divided on whether city will move COVID-19 alert levels

By Liu Chen of RNZ

New Zealanders will find out on Monday if the current coronavirus alert levels will remain or if the COVID-19 outbreak is contained enough to relax restrictions.

Meanwhile, people in Auckland - the only city that is at alert level 3 in the country - were divided on what's going to happen.

On Hobson St in the centre of the city, Mark Dion was getting some takeaway food.

"I still think we'll go on with level 3, however I'm still hoping that we'll get down to level 2 because it's quite rough for us already," he said.

He has been wearing masks as recommended by the Government though he is not enjoying it.

"It's quite hard because it's actually not my daily routine to wear a mask but I think it's for the safety of all the people," Dion said.

Karthick Gopalakrishnan, who was taking a walk with his partner, said it was better to take a precautionary approach to stay at alert level 3.

"I could see that there are cases coming in every day. We're making the links and there're new people being affected as well and people are travelling to different places by bus so we don't know how many more cases are out there."

The couple were not wearing masks but said they would put one on at places like supermarkets.

"We're not going to a crowded place right now," he said. "We're just heading to a park so we thought we don't want to wear a mask right now but we were wearing masks when we went to crowded places."

There are also people who think it is time to relax the restrictions. Togzhan Lambekova was one of those who thought Auckland should be able to move down to alert level 2 or even alert level 1.

"I don't think the situation is very bad I mean people should continue living, working and everything like it was before the current time."

Chris Parr wanted border restrictions gone.

"I hope they drop it down," he said. "Some people need to get out of Auckland, get back home and see their loved ones."

Coronavirus: Aucklanders divided on whether city will move COVID-19 alert levels
Photo credit: Newshub.

He said everyone should wear a mask if they can, but for beneficiaries like himself, it was not always easy to get one.

"Especially for people on the dole or benefit, I reckon it's hard. It costs money and you don't get much money.

"I reckon the Government should supply it to us."

There was just one new case of COVID-19 reported in the community on Sunday, along with two more in managed isolation.

The restrictions are due to lift at midnight on Wednesday and Ministers will meet on Monday afternoon to review whether community transmission has been contained.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Health Chris Hipkins will announce Cabinet's decision regarding whether Auckland's alert level 3 restrictions and the rest of the country's alert level 2 restrictions will change at 3pm.