The Ministry of Health has updated the alert level boundary map to include parts of the Waikato after new COVID-19 cases were recorded in the region.
COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced there were 29 new community cases on Thursday - 24 of which are in Auckland and the remaining five are in Waikato.
"This morning ministers have considered the public health advice and out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to extend the boundary further south," Chris Hipkins said at the 1pm press conference.
"That means the boundary will follow the coast south to Mokau, and then east along the northern Pureora Forest Park, then north to include Te Awamutu, Karapiro and Cambridge, where it will meet the existing boundary."
The Ministry of Health has now released the updated alert level boundary map, which will come into force at 11:59pm on Thursday night.
"More parts of Waikato will move to alert level 3 at 11:59pm on 7 October 2021," a statement from the Ministry said.
"The extended alert level 3 area will include Waitomo including Te Kuiti, Waipa and Ōtorohanga districts. Raglan, Huntly, Te Kauwhata, Ngāruawāhia, Hamilton City and some surrounding areas remain at alert level 3."
The newly included areas will join the rest of Waikato at level 3, and won't be enjoying the minimal new freedoms granted to Aucklanders under their step-based level 3 earlier this week.
The Ministry confirmed personal and business travel across an alert level boundary remains strictly limited.
"You also need to make sure you have acceptable evidence that you are permitted to cross the boundary. You can apply for an exemption if your reason to cross an Alert Level boundary is not permitted. You should stay home, unless it is essential to do otherwise."