Coronavirus: New Zealanders react to Auckland's move back to alert level 1

Kiwis have reacted with relief after it was announced Auckland will move to alert level 1 at midnight on Monday.

Auckland was put into a three-day-long level 3 lockdown last Sunday after three cases of COVID-19 were found in the community. A total of eight cases are connected to this outbreak, the most recent of which was announced earlier on Monday before the alert level announcement.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she is "not at all" concerned about the latest community case because of its connection to the original cluster.

The imminent move to level 1 means Auckland will join the rest of New Zealand with no more restrictions on the size of social gatherings, but wearing masks on public transport will continue to be mandatory nationwide.

News Auckland would move down alert levels prompted some Kiwis to share their excitement online.

"Thank God for moving back to level 1," one wrote on Twitter.

"We really went from having the UK strain in the community to alert level 1 in a week flat," another says. "[I don't know] if we're super competent or just lucky."

Others used the announcement as an opportunity to remind New Zealanders to keep following COVID-19 precautions since level 1 "does not mean level none".

Auckland Councillor Richard Hills advised people to not "be a d**k" during the pandemic.

"Masks on public transport! Test if you're sick! Scan everywhere! Wash your hands quick! Be kind to each other!" he tweeted.

Some users also thanked the family at the centre of this outbreak who got tested and the wider south Auckland community for their efforts.

"Auckland, we did it. Again. Proud of us all," one person tweeted. "Particularly want to say thanks to south Auckland who totally stood up, did what was necessary, and mobilised so we all could be where we are now. Thanks, y'all."

The source of these latest Auckland cases is still unknown. One of the first three cases announced in this outbreak works at LSG Sky Chefs which does laundry for airlines, and it remains a possible location of transmission. 

The Four Points by Sheraton managed isolation facility in Auckland continues to be investigated. This is where there is a possible genomic similarity between a previous positive case and the current community cases - though it is not a direct match.