COVID-19 live updates: Latest on Auckland community outbreak - Monday, March 1

Auckland has entered its second day of COVID-19 alert level 3 and the rest of New Zealand remains at level 2.

The super city was placed into lockdown on Saturday night after a Papatoetoe High School student tested positive for COVID-19 along with their mother. The case had been infectious for as long as a week and hadn't been in isolation.

There was an additional community case of COVID-19 reported on Sunday - linked to the original cluster and in Auckland's Jet Park Hotel quarantine facility.

What you need to know:

  • Auckland is at COVID-19 alert level 3 and the rest of New Zealand at level 2 for seven days
  • No new cases in the community were reported on Monday
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed on Monday the latest cases had contact with an infected family during the last alert level 3 lockdown - information they hadn't previously disclosed. They are UK variant cases and genomically linked to the original February Auckland cluster 
  • One of the latest cases went to the gym after getting a COVID-19 test, but before receiving the result
  • Road checkpoints in and out of the Auckland region have been re-established by police
  • The Government's COVID-19 wage subsidy scheme has been triggered nationwide
  • There are several new locations of interest, which you can find here
  • Find out more about what alert levels 3 and 2 mean for you here.

These live updates have finished.

9:20pm - Close, close plus, casual, casual plus, contact of a contact - whatever type you are, you just want to do the right thing, right?

But some say they're getting conflicting advice, and it seems even healthcare workers could be getting confused.

Read and watch Newshub health correspondent Lucy Warhurst's story here.

COVID-19 live updates: Latest on Auckland community outbreak - Monday, March 1
Photo credit: Getty Images

9pm - The Student Volunteer Army and New World have begun a grocery delivery service in Auckland now that the city is back in lockdown.

Since the alert levels changed on Sunday, SVA says they have received calls from older and immunocompromised people and support organisations in the Auckland region who are concerned about how they can safely get their next shop at level 3. 

Sam Johnson, founder and chief executive of SVA, says they promised they would be there if the delivery service was needed again.

"The demand is absolutely there, so we've mobilised and are ready to receive orders from people who need our help."

The contactless delivery service was set up and mobilised during 2020's first lockdown. They delivered "tens of thousands" of grocery items to households across New Zealand to ensure no one was without essential items during lockdown.

Chris Quin, CEO Foodstuffs North Island, who operates New World says it is their promise to be there for New Zealanders.

"We’re proud to be partnering New World with SVA once more to make this valuable service available to our most vulnerable Aucklanders."

The SVA grocery delivery service resumes from 9am on March 2. 

8:50pm - Ardern also clarified what she meant when earlier on Monday she asked New Zealanders to tell their friends and family not to break COVID-19 rules.

She says she's not asking people to dob rull-breakers into authorities, but instead tell them that what they're doing is wrong.

"I'm not asking you to report your family and friends, I'm asking you to help your family and friends."

8:40pm - On financial support, Ardern says there is support available for employers.

"One thing I would note, we've actually been dealing with rather large employers so I would expect, particularly those international, that they would have a system in place to support their employees," she says.

She says contact tracers will also ask whether a person needs financial support and they can provide that directly.

"We expected employers to support the team of 5 million too."

8:35pm - Appearing on The Hui, Ardern admits there sometimes will be "failings in the system".

She says most family members in the Auckland cluster were asked to be tested and stay in isolation until receiving their results.

In this instance, they weren't tested until later in the week and multiple attempts were made to contact them.

They had two school members who were not meant to leave at home until they were tested.

She also denies claims the KFC worker wasn't told to isolate.

8:30pm - Jacinda Ardern is about to sit down for an interview with The Hui's Mihingarangi Forbes.

The interview with the Prime Minister, which will take place over Zoom, is scheduled for an 8:30pm start.

You can watch that online here.

8:15pm - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is angry with the latest rule-breaking COVID-19 cases, but Opposition leaders say the Government needs to take some of the blame. 

"It is not appropriate and it is not OK for members of the team of five million to let the rest of us down," Ardern said at her post-Cabinet press conference on Monday. 

The seven days Aucklanders are now locked up at home for is being blamed not on a system, nor on the tricky coronavirus, but on the COVID-19 cases themselves.

The Opposition thinks the finger-pointing is misdirected and that the Prime Minister should hold up a mirror. 

"The Government is happy to blame this family but they're not prepared to take any kind of criticism of their own response," said ACT leader David Seymour. 

"It's always that case that the Government does not accept blame and quietly fills in the holes afterwards."

National leader Judith Collins said the Government should take some blame. 

"It's really easy just to blame a 21-year-old but it's actually much harder for the Government to blame itself around putting in place the processes and procedures that people need, for instance checking up on whether people are where they say they are." 

Read and watch political reporter Jenna Lynch's story here.

COVID-19 live updates: Latest on Auckland community outbreak - Monday, March 1
Photo credit: The AM Show

7:40pm - Appearing on The Project, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she encourages anyone who has an idea to reward people for complying with COVID-19 rules to share them.

"Really early on, we were having conversations about whether or not there were ways to incentivise scanning," she says.

"The game theory people use for lots of different things to influence human behaviour, we've always wanted to think creatively about some of those things."

She adds she'll keep having conversations about how to increase compliance with rules since "it's in everyone's interests when everyone follows the rules".

7:20pm - The Northern Regional Health Coordination Centre (NRHCC) says there has been a "strong" public response for COVID-19 testing since Auckland's lockdown began.

Over 3700 swabs were taken across the 10 dedicated community testing centres on Sunday, with strong demand continuing into Monday, they say. Since February 14, there have been more than 70,000 community tests for COVID-19 in metro Auckland (over 4 percent of Auckland’s population).

NRHCC lead Margie Apa says testing locations will remain open all week.

"We have ensured the geographic spread of testing locations has met the needs of the community, so it's easy to find a testing centre," she says.

"Given recent positive cases, it is more important than ever that we have a low threshold for testing.

"If you have symptoms that could indicate COVID, please don't delay in having a test. The same applies if you have attended any of the locations of interest, on the specified dates and times connected to the recent positive cases in South Auckland.

"By having a test, you are playing your part in keeping the community safe and helping build confidence that if there are any cases in the community, they will be quickly detected."

7pm - Police say the Ministry of Health hasn't referred any relevant information to them on people failing to comply with orders from health officials.

"In cases where individuals have failed to comply with specific orders from health officials to self-isolate, Police may investigate when referred relevant information by the Ministry of Health," a police spokesperson says.

"At this stage, we have not received referrals and we continue to focus on working with individuals, whānau and communities to support them to isolate and be tested.

"Police will continue to work with public health as we have to date, including to assist finding people who should be isolating and who prove difficult to find."

6:30pm - The COVID positive KFC worker, known as Case L, has told Newshub she's upset the Prime Minister told the country she should have been self-isolating, as the official advice she got was that she didn't need to.

She says her and her family have been ridiculed online, and wants an apology.

Case L tested positive on February 26 after being shifted to quarantine with her family. She had attended work on February 22 and 23.

When asked whether Case L should have been isolating during those days, the Prime Minister answered: "Look, yes they should have".

Jacinda Ardern warned of "repercussions", and said people needed to do the right thing.  

But the KFC employee told Newshub she wasn't told to self-isolate by anyone.

Read the full story from Newshub investigations reporter Michael Morrah here.

6pm - It's time for Newshub Live at 6pm. Watch online here or tune in on Three.

5:40pm - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is encouraging calling out COVID-19 rule-breakers, but with "kindness", after multiple breaches led to Auckland's fourth lockdown. 

Auckland was shifted to alert level 3 on Sunday for seven days after revelations a 21-year-old with COVID-19 ignored self-isolation rules by visiting several populated places, including a gym, while he was symptomatic. 

It's also been revealed that his mother - who tested positive at the weekend - went for a walk with the mother of an infected household during the last level 3 lockdown. The meet-up wasn't disclosed to contact tracers. 

"With that first household, it was a classmate and then family members, and it was one of the family members who then tested positive. They were interviewed but did not disclose the contact with this follow up family," Ardern says. 

She is now urging the public to call out their peers for breaking the rules. 

"Our plan is for short and sharp restrictions in order to break the chain of transmission but rule-breaking can prolong that plan," Ardern says. 

"That is why I'm asking everyone - now more than ever - to continue to support and back one another. If that means calling a family member or work colleague out for not following the rules, then we should do that. 

"Do it with kindness, but do it."

Read the full story here.

COVID-19 live updates: Latest on Auckland community outbreak - Monday, March 1
Photo credit: Getty Images

5:20pm - There are now 15 cases connected to the Auckland February cluster that was first identified on February 14.

A mother and daughter from Papatoetoe were the first to test positive in what has become the first major cluster since August last year.

We now have cases A through to O, and at times it can be confusing as to who is who.

Read Newshub's guide to this cluster's cases.

5pm - Twenty-eight border workers have been vaccinated in the Bay of Plenty as the region begins its vaccine roll out.

Bay of Plenty DHB COVID-19 response manager Helen De Vere says the first day has gone well.

"It has been a very positive first day, with everyone involved appreciating how significant this effort is in keeping our community safe."

She adds that she was proud of all involved.

"It has been a huge logistical effort involving a lot of people going above and beyond to get us to where we are now," she says.

"I want to thank everyone for meeting this challenge head on. Doing so, helped ensure we were in a great position to start the vaccination programme at 11am today."

4:45pm - A quick reminder if you're in Auckland and need to get a COVID-19 test, there are several community testing locations around the city.

The opening hours differ at each location.

See the full list here.

4:30pm - Auckland is back in lockdown for a preliminary seven-day period after an active case of COVID-19 visited several locations while they were infectious. 

With the closure of customer-facing businesses and a return to socially-distanced supermarkets, here is a refresher on life at alert level 3.

COVID-19 live updates: Latest on Auckland community outbreak - Monday, March 1
Photo credit: Getty Images

4:15pm - Listen to Newshub's The Cup podcast, where Team New Zealand sailor and Olympic gold medalist Blair Tuke talks about the team's lockdown plan with Melissa Chan-Green and Tom McRae.

4pm - The SPCA has cancelled their annual street appeal across New Zealand as a result of the new alert levels.

General manager of marketing and fundraising Dominique Leeming says while it's disappointing the street appeal won't go ahead, there are other ways the public can donate.

"While we always knew there was a chance of going into a lockdown at any time, this is going to have a huge impact on our fundraising, in a normal year we raise around $300,000 with our street collection. We urge generous Kiwis to visit our website and make a donation online," she says.

"We are fortunate to have a fabulous network of volunteers who signed up to collect for us, and for that we are very grateful, but this year we can only collect donations online."

The public can donate to SPCA's annual appeal by donating online here.

3:45pm - The way one family became infected with the virus was two mothers in separate families going for a walk together, Dr Bloomfield confirms. This walk happened during lockdown.

3:43pm - Ardern says New Zealand's isolation system doesn't just rely on trust, they have people checking in on people. Having people flout the rules multiple times in a short space of time means there are consequences, she says.

She adds they always look back at a situation to see what they could or should have done in the moment, including what more they could've done to prevent it.

3:40pm - On vaccines, Dr Bloomfield says they anticipated getting just five doses out of each vial, but nurses have instead got six.

In all of the vaccine locations, they had vaccine that would expire because it needs to be used in five days. This means rather than having vaccines expire, they gave leftovers to frontline health workers from DHBs and the community.

Ardern says when they send out vaccines, they have a backup plan where they have people on standby so there isn't wastage.

3:30pm - Ardern says she's happy to go back and see what she said about the KFC worker, who is apparently upset about what the Prime Minister said about them going back to work.

Dr Bloomfield says on the family who didn't disclose they had contact with another family, they haven't given health officials any reason for why they didn't give this information. He says that contact tracers are "very good" at eliciting information from people over several interviews.

They want to encourage people to share all potentially relevant information, Ardern says.

She expects people to follow the rules, adding they don't leave it to chance and don't solely leave it to trust.

"We do our bit, but we expect people to do their bit as well."

3:25pm - When the first household was interviewed, they didn't disclose contact with other family. Ardern says no one in Cabinet thinks this is tolerable.

"What has happened has been a clear breach and we are frustrated by it."

But she adds that politicians don't have a say in the enforcement of COVID-19 rules and the notion that people weren't checked on is "just wrong".

The idea that responsibility sits in one place is wrong, she says, and this was a "clear breach".

Dr Bloomfield adds that if they can't contact a potential contact, police get involved to help them track them down.

3:20pm - Ardern says they always anticipated that someone who has an entire week of exposure events will have large numbers of potential contacts.

On Saturday, they were advised of the first case, and they then immediately tested other family members. They found the mother was infected, and they then went onto contact tracing.

Officials then found a potential link between families and found a timeline of when that occured.

3:15pm - Dr Bloomfield is going over information that was released by the Ministry of Health earlier on Monday.

This includes 21 close contacts identified at the Manukau Institute of Technology campus. These people are classmates or teachers. They're being told to isolate and get a test.

There are also 154 casual plus contacts for Case M associated with their gym visits.

He adds that some people will be finding this tough, particularly in Auckland. He says there is the 1737 helpline and a range of other supports available.

3:10pm - On vaccines, after border staff, non-border health staff will be next in line to receive the vaccine.

Ardern says this is about 57,000 people. This group was chosen partly because they will help stop spread to other at-risk community groups. It only includes people on the frontline interacting with patients.

She expects that group will begin to be vaccinated in March.

If at end of a vaccine day there are leftover vaccines, they're offered to others to make sure none are wasted.

3:07pm - Ardern says the COVID-19 response system has many layers, and they ask people to follow the rules and play their part.

She asks that everyone continues to back and support each other, including calling a colleague or family out for breaking the rules.

She reiterates that there are support payments available for people who are isolating.

3:05pm - Queenstown Airport has confirmed that a passenger arriving on flight NZ611 from Auckland was met by St John Ambulance after showing mild flu-like symptoms.

"The Ministry of Health has been made aware and will be following up with the passenger and their travelling companions," an airport spokesperson says.

"We would like to remind the community to please stay home if you are unwell. If you or someone you are travelling with is not feeling well please do not travel and please do not enter the terminal."

2:50pm - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield will provide an update on COVID-19 at 3pm.

You'll be able to watch this by either tuning in on Three or watching online here.

2:45pm - The National Party is urging the Government to adopt its five-point plan to help get on top of Auckland's latest outbreak.

It includes:

  • introducing rapid antigen testing
  • rolling out high intensity, well-staffed testing stations across Papatoetoe and at every single location of interest
  • conducting higher intensity wastewater testing at suburb and sub-suburb levels in Papatoetoe
  • setting aside enough vaccines for all border and port workers, then priority vaccinating south Auckland
  • increasing the monitoring of people who are required to self-isolate, including spot checks.

2:30pm - Auckland residents attempting to return home are outraged by "chaotic" and "disorganised" checkpoints at the geographical border, with some reporting gruelling eight-hour queues to re-enter the region.

Speaking to The AM Show on Monday morning, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern acknowledged that implementing the lockdown mid-weekend had put additional stress on the entry checkpoints.

"The issue we're facing at the moment is that this is the first time we've had a lockdown that's happened mid-weekend. That means a lot more pressure on that entry border as Aucklanders are coming home," she said.

The purpose of the checkpoints is to prevent people living outside of Auckland from travelling back-and-forth unnecessarily, Ardern explained  - movements that could facilitate the spread of COVID-19 throughout the country.

"If we had a situation where someone who did not live in Auckland came into Auckland, undertook contact that they shouldn't, and then said, 'well, I don't live here, so I'm going home' - rightly, that would be wrong," she said.

"We don't want people coming into Auckland who are not residents there, or who are not transiting through to get to their place of residence. We want to stop all unnecessary contact and movement with those outside of Auckland. We've always done that."

Read the full story here.

COVID-19 live updates: Latest on Auckland community outbreak - Monday, March 1
Photo credit: The AM Show

2:15pm - Police say a man was arrested at 3:30am on Monday for alleged drunk and disorderly behaviour at the southern checkpoint at State Highway 1 / Oram Rd.

He was taken to the Hamilton police station and will be appearing in the Hamilton District Court at a later date.

"Police still warn motorists to expect some delays at the checkpoints this week and, if possible, to avoid travelling during peak hours," says Inspector John Thornley, road policing manager for Tāmaki Makaurau.

"We are also reminding motorists travelling through the checkpoints to be prepared to show proof of an exemption."

Additionally, initial numbers that police say are yet to be verified show that more than 25,000 vehicles were processed through all checkpoints around Auckland on Sunday.

2:05pm - Contact tracing of the Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) Manukau campus has identified 21 close contacts of Case M, who are being followed up and provided advice from public health staff regarding isolating and testing, the Ministry of Health says.

"The vast majority of people on the campus at the same times as Case M are considered casual contacts and need to watch for symptoms. They do not need to have a test unless they have symptoms, or are a close or casual plus contact," the ministry says.

"All casual contacts should be limiting their movements and interactions with other people. Under level 3, everyone in Auckland should also currently be staying at home."

Contact tracing of City Fitness in Hunters Plaza has identified 154 casual plus contacts. These contacts will be followed up by contact tracing teams to ensure that they get a test and stay at home until the test is negative.

"If you were at the gym on 20 February between 12.20pm - 1.45pm or 26 February between 3.25pm - 4.30pm and have not been contacted then please phone Healthline for advice."

A full list of the ministry's locations of interest is available here.

2pm - The total number of active cases in New Zealand is 67. The total number of confirmed cases is 2022.

The total number of tests processed by laboratories to date is 1,712,029. On Sunday, 4648 tests were processed. The seven-day rolling average up to Sunday is 7101 tests processed, the Ministry of Health says.

1:55pm - The Ministry of Health says there is one new COVID-19 case in MIQ.

This person arrived on February 27 from India via the United Arab Emirates and Singapore. They tested positive on day zero routine testing.

1:50pm - Auckland February cases contact tracing update

KFC Botany Downs contacts

KFC staff - there are 11 close plus contacts who worked at the same time as Case L. Seven of these people have returned negative test results so far.

All other test results received so far have come back negative.

Progress with tests at Papatoetoe High School

Case A had 31 close contacts at the school, one of these tested positive (Case D). All others have tested negative for COVID-19.

All the remaining students and staff at the school have been designated as casual plus contacts of Case A.

There are 1519 casual plus contacts. As at 8am, in addition to the three positive cases (Case E, I and J), 1514 students and staff have returned at least one negative test result since February 15.

All casual plus contacts have been undergoing a follow-up test on or after February 22. More than 97 percent of results are back, and all results from the follow-up tests are negative.

Kmart Botany contacts

A total of 33 staff members have been identified as close plus contacts, and all of these have tested negative.

The Ministry of Health says it has been contacted by 1847 people who reported being at the store at the times of interest. They have been provided with public health advice. These people have been asked to isolate for 14 days and be tested at day five and day 12 after their exposure to the case. People who have symptoms will be tested at the appropriate time.

There are currently 1794 negative test results for this group.  

Dark Vapes East Tamaki

Contact tracing of Dark Vapes East Tamaki identified a total of seven close and close plus contacts. All people have returned negative results for their day five test.

1:44pm - There are no new community cases of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health says.

Cases A, B, and C - the first to be infected in this recent outbreak - are classified as recovered from their COVID-19 infections and have finished their quarantine period at the Auckland quarantine facility.

The ministry says regular wastewater testing at an Auckland site near Papatoetoe High School continues to report negative results.

1:35pm - Still awaiting the arrival of the Ministry of Health's COVID-19 update. We will bring you the latest case numbers as soon as they come to hand.

1:20pm - While we await the Ministry of Health's update, here's a quick recap of what we learned on Monday morning. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed how people from two separate families contracted COVID-19.

"Both family members from both households had contact during level 3 - that's what has occurred," she told The AM Show.

She said the first family was asked to isolate once they had tested positive and was interviewed.

"That interview did not disclose the contact. Whether or not they forgot or lied I cannot tell you but either way it has had a devastating consequence."

She said the families breached public health guidance "multiple times" by not isolating when they were feeling ill, not isolating after getting tested and not disclosing their contact with one another. 

1:10pm - Still no word yet on latest COVID-19 case numbers from the Ministry of Health.

To recap, Auckland was placed into lockdown on Saturday night after a Papatoetoe High School student tested positive for COVID-19 along with their mother.

The case had been infectious for as long as a week and hadn't been in isolation.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was not aware of new COVID-19 cases from overnight when she appeared on The AM Show earlier.

1:05pm - We are still awaiting the Ministry of Health's update. We will bring you the latest COVID-19 case details as soon as they come to hand.

12:58pm - Auckland residents attempting to return home are outraged by "chaotic" and "disorganised" checkpoints at the geographical border, with some reporting gruelling eight-hour queues to re-enter the region. 

Several Aucklanders have contacted Newshub claiming the queues on Sunday lasted six to eight hours, with cars crawling towards the checkpoint in intense heat without the necessary provisions. 

One resident who wrote to Newshub said they were simply waved through the checkpoint after an eight-hour wait without food or bathroom access. 

"Unbelievable and unacceptable delay getting through the southern checkpoint to enter Auckland," one wrote on Sunday. "We have spent over eight hours travelling at around 1 - 2 k/ph without any ability to get food, water or use a bathroom.

"Now we have finally gotten to the checkpoint, a quick look at your license without checking any details and [they] wave you on - what did we spend eight hours in a line of traffic for?

"I am enraged beyond measure and I can't imagine how anyone with children has handled this."

Read more here.

12:51pm - Are there any more community cases of COVID-19? The Ministry of Health is due provide a coronavirus update at 1pm. We will bring you the information as soon as it comes to hand.

12:40pm - Mental health advocate Mike King has blasted people on both sides of the COVID-19 vaccine debate as "feral self-righteous zealots", saying they need to take a "chill pill".

"I live in Papatoetoe and if it is made available, my family and I will happily be vaccinated," he said.

12:30pm - The Ministry of Health is due to provide an update on COVID-19 cases by press release at 1pm. We will bring you that information as soon as it comes to hand.

Jacinda Ardern and Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield will provide another COVID-19 update at 3pm following a Cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister's office said You can watch that live on Three and in the video above.

Ardern and Dr Bloomfield.
Ardern and Dr Bloomfield. Photo credit: Getty

12:19pm - A person has been arrested at Auckland's southern border.

Police said a motorist became aggressive and was arrested for alleged disorderly behaviour.

12:11pm - Manukau bus and train stations will be deep cleaned following the latest community cases of COVID-19.

The recent coronavirus case visited the Manukau Institute of Technology [MIT] campus.

"It has been confirmed that the student did not use public transport, but ... as a precaution it has undertaken fog (spray) sanitation of the stations due to their proximity to MIT," Auckland Transport (AT) said in a statement.

"Also as a matter of precaution, we are standing down the usual cleaners and security guards at Manukau train station due to the time that they spend within the facility itself.

"These measures come in addition to the enhanced cleaning regime that AT has continued since New Zealand's first lockdown early last year."

12:07pm - The lockdown has seen a surge of demand at COVID-19 testing stations across Auckland.

Speaking from the Ōtara testing station, Newshub's Laura Tupou said spirits remain high.

"It's overwhelmingly positive and that's despite cars snaking around the car park." 

COVID-19 live updates: Latest on Auckland community outbreak - Monday, March 1
Photo credit: Newshub.

12:04pm - Earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wouldn't be drawn on whether charges should be laid over the latest COVID-19 rule-breaking.

Ardern said it's up to the police to decide if further action was needed.

"It's a decision that's made by people other than us," she told The AM Show. "We aren't the ones that decide who is prosecuted or on what basis."

12pm - Auckland Mayor Phil Goff told Newshub that on paper, its a no-brainer the city's residents be vaccinated first.

"We're now in our fourth level 3 lockdown and we're the city with more than half the quarantine facilities.

"Auckland is at the greatest risk of community transmission of any city in the country."

Goff said several regions are joining his call to vaccinate Auckland first.

11:35am - COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins is pushing back on calls to punish the ruling-breaking families behind the latest outbreak, saying the Government needs people to cooperate. 

Hipkins fears it could lead to more dishonesty.

"We just need people to cooperate. If for example you start taking a more punitive approach, people would be more reluctant to share the personal information they have to share for the contact tracing process, and that'll just slow us down," he told More FM. 

"The key thing here is we've got to be able to move with speed; the faster people come forward, the faster they get tested, the faster they share all their information, the quicker our response is going to be.

"In a criminal proceeding, that's not always the case. People withhold information that's not in their best interest and we don't want people to be in that space when we're talking about contact tracing processes."

Read the full story from Newshub digital political reporter Zane Small here.

Jacinda Ardern and Chris Hipkins.
Jacinda Ardern and Chris Hipkins. Photo credit: Newshub.

11:20am - Doctors have told Newshub they're "utterly disgusted" and "outraged" district health board staff were invited to get left over COVID vaccines at the weekend and they weren't.

On Friday, February 26 at 6:38pm, an email was sent to some staff at Auckland DHB inviting them to get vaccinated over the weekend. The email states that it was to ensure "we didn't waste any vaccine doses due to them not being used before they expire".

Newshub understands that some DHB staff were told to go to the Crown Plaza Hotel in Auckland to get the jab, and that those vaccinated included orthopaedic surgeons, renal physicians and fertility specialists.

A doctor who asked to remain anonymous said it's "utterly disgusting".

"DHB doctors getting vaccines but not GPs who are being refused - GPs are essentially running the medical response at present, doing swabbing and seeing the vast majority of patients with viral, covid symptoms."

Read Newshub investigations reporter Michael Morrah's full report on this here.

11:10am - The Government is backing its decision not to penalise people who flout COVID-19 rules or withhold information.

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says punishment isn't the answer.

"If they think that they're going to be punished by coming forward, all they're going to do is hunker down and not come forward with information that we need," he told More FM.

11:05am - Traffic has eased at Auckland's southern border after Sunday's chaos that saw people stranded for up to eight hours.

About 200 cars per hour have been through the Mercer police checkpoint on Monday morning.

Police said there were about 900 per hour on Sunday evening.

COVID-19 live updates: Latest on Auckland community outbreak - Monday, March 1
Photo credit: Getty

10:56am - Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says protecting the super city by vaccinating its residents first will protect the rest of New Zealand.

"Auckland loses an estimated 200 jobs and $30-plus million per day under level 3 restrictions.

"We need the vaccine roll-out to be prioritised in Auckland to help avoid future lockdowns, protect jobs and incomes, and ensure Auckland can play its role in supporting the national economic recovery.

"The roll-out of vaccines for frontline workers started in Auckland which was absolutely the right thing to do."

10:35am - Jacinda Ardern and Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield will provide a COVID-19 update at 3pm following a Cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister's office has confirmed. You can watch that live on Three and in the video above.

The Ministry of Health will also provide an update on COVID-19 cases by press release at 1pm. We will bring you that information as soon as it comes to hand.

10:18am - Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says he wants the super city prioritised for the vaccine rollout.

Goff said in a statement Auckland is at greater risk of community transmission.

"As the gateway city to New Zealand, and with 18 quarantine facilities - significantly more than the rest of the country combined - Auckland carries the burden of risk on behalf of the country.

"Protecting Auckland will help ensure that we stop the disease from being transmitted to other parts of the country.

"Within Auckland, we should prioritise south Auckland, and following that, the rest of the city should be prioritised."

COVID-19 live updates: Latest on Auckland community outbreak - Monday, March 1
Photo credit: Getty

10am - COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says the latest developments on the most recent coronavirus cases have put a strain on the system.

"The system is designed to accommodate for human error but not wilfull witholding of information," he told More FM. "It seems to me that we've got a bit more of a pattern here which is making this challenging."

Hipkins said they don't want to punish people for breaking the rules out of worry others will withhold information.

9:35am - University of Auckland physicist and disease modeller Shaun Hendy says Aucklanders who are presenting symptoms consistent with COVID-19 - such as muscle ache, loss of taste or smell, fatigue, fever or a dry cough - should "assume" they have the virus and get tested.

Ahead of Auckland's return to alert level 3 on Sunday morning, numerous residents vacated the city to escape the restrictions - behaviour that has disappointed health officials.

Speaking to The AM Show on Monday, Hendy urged these Aucklanders to assume they are infectious and "act accordingly" while in level 2 areas.

There are concerns that an infected Aucklander might export the virus to a COVID-free region.

9:09am - The Government is being urged to look overseas to make its COVID-19 response more robust.

Auckland University medicine professor Des Gorman says the current response isn't working.

"Contact tracing requires a multi-layered approach and one of the layers required is a ground workforce which goes and knocks on people's doors and chases things down," he told Newshub on Sunday. "You can't allow large numbers of people simply not to be contacted."

Prof Gorman.
Prof Gorman. Photo credit: The AM Show

9:06am - Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says a big part of stamping out COVID-19 is how much people keep track of their movements.

"When somebody does do the wrong thing, we still go to them. We say, 'where have you been?'

"We want to know where they've spent every minute of their life - we rely on their cooperation," Goff told The AM Show.   

9:03am - COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins is pleading with people to stick to the rules.

Hipkins told More FM the faster people come forward for testing and share information, the quicker the Government's response can be. 

Hipkins. Photo credit: The AM Show

9am - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is fuming over the actions of the latest COVID-19 cases, which she says had "devastating consequences".

She says the families breached public health guidance "multiple times" by not isolating when they were feeling ill, not isolating after getting tested and not disclosing their contact with one another. 

Ardern told The AM Show she was "absolutely" angry at how the situation transpired - but said it was paramount that the families not be vilified for what she called a "dumb" decision.

"We are not going to get through this if every time someone does something dumb we pillary them to the point that people are fearful and they don't tell us the truth."

8:39am - Speaking to More FM radio on Monday morning, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said the latest developments were frustrating.

"We've got two families here now where people haven't completely followed the rules and not disclosed contacts when they needed to, and that's had pretty significant consequences for our overall process." 

8:35am - Newshub political reporter Jenna Lynch says the revelations about the latest COVID-19 cases prove the Government's reliance on trust hasn't been working.

"The spot checks from police - that should have been happening already," she told The AM Show host Duncan Garner. "As [Jacinda Ardern] said to you this morning, that was a real problem during the August cluster.

"They should have learned from that and had people going in and checking in on these people."

Ardern. Photo credit: Newshub.

8:25am - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is frustrated the recent community cluster has broken COVID-19 rules, placing the country's biggest city in another lockdown. 

Ardern told The AM Show even more information has since come to light.

"The contact that caused these cases - family members from both households had contact during level 3."

8:10am - Disease modeller Shaun Hendy says people who have been in Auckland in the past week should be on high alert.

Prof Hendy told The AM Show people need to watch for symptoms.

"Assume that you'e got the virus and if you develop any of the symptoms that have been listed, including things like loss of taste and smell - things that might seem relatively mild, you should go get a test."  

8:05am - Motorists are being urged to be patient as traffic builds at Auckland's border checkpoints.

Speaking from the Mercer checkpoint, The AM Show's Sinelle Fernandez says a massive queue is building.

 "Most people are complying with the traffic rules," she said. "Police have said they've had to turn back a handful of people." 

COVID-19 live updates: Latest on Auckland community outbreak - Monday, March 1
Photo credit: The AM Show

8am - Auckland Mayor Phil Goff is reminding everyone to listen to health advice and isolate if feeling unwell.

Goff told The AM Show there's no place for rule-breakers.

"There are some people that deliberately break the rules - all of those people have got to come on board." 

Goff. Photo credit: The AM Show

7:52am - To recap what we just heard from the Prime Minister:

Jacinda Ardern says the latest community COVID-19 case in south Auckland had contact with an infected family during the last alert level 3 lockdown.

She told The AM Show it's simply not good enough.

7:50am - PM Ardern says she won't get the latest case results until later on Monday.

7:48am - Ardern says it's "not her role" to determine whether the family is charged or not.

COVID-19 live updates: Latest on Auckland community outbreak - Monday, March 1
Photo credit: Getty

7:46am - PM Ardern declines to say if she wants family charged over rule-breaking.

7:45am - Ardern says she wants people to understand consequences of not following the rules.

7:44am - PM Ardern says there have been "multiple breaches" of COVID rules.

7:42am - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is appearing on The AM Show now. She has revealed the family at the centre of the latest COVID-19 cases did in fact have contact with the family originally infected, during alert level 3.

7:35am - The person at the centre of Auckland's latest COVID-19 case has "absolutely" done the wrong things, says epidemiologist Michael Baker.

On Monday, Prof Baker said he hopes the country has got the message now.

"The best case is we get no new infections in the next week but the incubation period is around five or six days, so we're always looking backwards," he told The AM Show.

7:20am - There are fears the recent community cases of COVID-19 are the tip of the iceberg.

A 21-year-old spent a week out of isolation in south Auckland, even going to the gym before getting his virus test results back.

Disease modeller Shaun Hendy told The AM Show it's not the best situation.

"Potentially, we're looking at a very large number of secondary cases."

Hendy. Photo credit: The AM Show

7:10am - There's disappointment at people failing to follow the COVID-19 isolation guidelines.

One of the latest coronavirus cases in south Auckland went to the gym after getting a test.

He then recieved a positive result.

Auckland University Professor Des Gorman told Newshub on Sunday that's a huge failure.

"The simple reality is they were told to stay at home, they didn't," Prof Gorman said. "I think that's just simply unacceptable."

7:03am - ACT party leader David Seymour is shocked at the Auckland border wait times.

He says it makes more sense to stop people from leaving the city rather then entering.

"The problem is in Auckland," he told Newshub on Sunday. "We don't want Aucklanders to spread it - people entering Auckland aren't part of the problem."

6:52am - An Auckland community leader is warning people to stay clear of conspiracy theories about COVID-19.

Manukau Ward councillor Efeso Collins told The AM Show it's a real danger in some communities.

"If uncle or aunty, mum or dad believe this stuff, then that's what the young people are going to be subjected to when we're in lockdown."

Collins. Photo credit: The AM Show

6:37am - National is pushing for a crackdown on people who break the rules when asked to self-isolate.

A south Auckland man who'd been asked to stay home went to the gym after his COVID-19 test.

He then returned a positive result, forcing Auckland into alert level three.

National health spokesperson Shane Reti says the rules need to be tightened.

6:30am - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Sunday warned it's likely there will be more community cases of COVID-19.

Epidemiologist Michael Baker told The AM Show on Monday it's a given there will be more infections.

"There will be more cases in the community," Prof Baker said. "This last case ... has been out in some high-risk situations."  

6:24am - Those in charge of moving livestock are being told to think twice if they have to cross the Auckland border.

Some animals were stuck in the queue for hours on end in hot temperatures on Sunday.

Wayne Langford from Federated Farmers says it might be best to delay travel.

"The companies that are shifting the stock around really need to be aware of what's going on and the potential queues," he told Newshub on Sunday.  

6:11am - Fingers are being pointed squarely at the Government over the latest COVID-19 community cases.

Questions are being raised about whether the 72 hour lockdown two weeks ago should have been extended.

Auckland University Professor Des Gorman told Newshub on Sunday the current response hasn't been good enough.

"This current siutation is the result of the Goverment's inconsistent approach to risk management.

"They went from level 3 to level 2 to level 1 a week or so ago - that was premature."

6:08am - ACT party leader David Seymour wants the Government to pump the brakes at the Auckland border.

He's questioning why people are being checked when entering the city.

"It's particularly hellish as the late summer sun beams down on Auckland," Seymour told Newshub on Sunday.

6:05am - Speaking from Auckland's Mercer checkpoint, The AM Show's Sinelle Fernandez says traffic has been steady.

"We can only expect it to grow more as the sun comes up," she said. "We've seen one person turned away for not providing police with essential travel documents."

Cars waiting to cross the Auckland border on Sunday.
Cars waiting to cross the Auckland border on Sunday. Photo credit: Supplied

6am - It's time for The AM Show. This morning we will hear from several experts before Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern provides the latest developments at about 7:40am. You can watch that live on Three and here.

5:45am - Road Transport Forum chief executive Nick Leggett told Newshub on Sunday there needs to be a strong deterrence at Auckland's border to ensure essential services aren't held up.

"That's people's jobs and livelihoods," he said. "Freight is a good tester of the economy - it gets things moving, it keeps the economy healthy and we've already got challenges with supply chain at the port."

5:30am - Criticism is being aimed at the Government over chaos at Auckland's borders.

It follows reports of people being stuck in traffic for more than six hours as police check people's reasons for travel during the super city's COVID-19 alert level 3.

ACT leader David Seymour is questioning why people are being blocked from going into Auckland.

People have reported waiting at the border for more than six hours without food, water, and toilets. Henry Angus was travelling to Auckland from Hamilton on Sunday and says it's not good enough.

"We've done this so many times before - we've had so many lockdowns and yet we've still got a six, seven-hour wait - it's just crazy," he told Newshub on Sunday.