Coronavirus: Auckland testing centre security guard seen shaking hands, talking to someone with no mask

The Ministry of Health is urging Aucklanders to follow the alert level 3 rules after a security staffer was seen shaking hands and talking to someone who wasn't wearing a mask at a North Shore COVID-19 testing centre.

At level 3, people must wear a face covering in places such as supermarkets, on public transport, and in healthcare facilities. In other public places, mask use is encouraged and keeping a distance of two metres from others you don't know is recommended. The Government's COVID-19 website says if you're around people you don't know, it's a "good idea" to wear a face covering.

Auckland Councillor Richard Hills posted a photo to Twitter showing a security guard in a hi-vis vest speaking to someone in close proximity who isn't wearing a mask.

"It's unsettling to see security staff for College Rd testing station shaking hands and talking to someone without a mask for 15 min with no social distancing," he wrote in a tweet.

Hills also says the maskless person arrived in a Vision NZ-branded car, which is a political party led by Hannah Tamaki.

Coronavirus: Auckland testing centre security guard seen shaking hands, talking to someone with no mask
Photo credit: Twitter / @richardhills777

Responding to the photo, a Ministry of Health spokesperson said it's "crucial" everyone in Auckland adheres to level 3 restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

"Alert level 3 restrictions include mask-wearing and staying in your bubble. These measures are essential to stop onwards transmission of the highly infectious Delta variant," they say.

"We would like to thank everyone in Tāmaki Makaurau who has followed alert level 3 restrictions - you are doing your bit for the outbreak response."

There were 29 COVID-19 cases announced on Monday, bringing the total number in the outbreak to 1357.

Although there are consistent cases each day, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a three-stage roadmap earlier on Monday to bring Auckland out of restrictions. The city will remain in level 3, but from 11:59pm on Tuesday, Aucklanders will be able to connect with people outside their bubble outdoors, with no more than two households and ten people mingling at a time.

At the second stage, retail shops can open along with public facilities like zoos and pools. Then in step three, hospitality venues can open with people seated at a distance with a maximum capacity of 50 people.