Coronavirus: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Dr Ashley Bloomfield hint at Auckland lockdown lasting until end of month

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director-General of Health Dr Ashey Bloomfield have hinted that Auckland's COVID-19 lockdown could last until the end of the month. 

Things were looking rosey waking up in the capital this morning, but fast forward a few hours, there's nothing quite like a few COVID-19 cases to bring the gloom. 

"I'm not happy about it," one Wellingtonian told Newshub, while others described the news as "not great", "sad", and "inevitable". 

It made the lockdown extension inevitable too.

"The Director-General of Health has recommended and Cabinet has agreed to keep all of New Zealand at level four until 11:59pm on Tuesday, August 24," Ardern said on Friday. 

But hang on, that's not all Dr Bloomfield recommended.

He thinks Auckland should stay locked down for at least a whole other week until August 31. 

"My view was that Auckland and plus or minus Coromandel would need to be extended beyond that based on the data we have at the moment," Dr Bloomfield said. 

And the Prime Minister is sending a very clear signal to Auckland that she will likely heed that advice. Expect a longer lockdown. 

"What I would say for Auckland, and I think they've been around COVID long enough to know that when you are really a hot spot, that does lend itself to often having to be extra cautious."

Mentally preparing for longer can help alleviate some of the anxiety and uncertainty - and science backs it too. 

"It's hard to imagine it not being another week given the sheer number of contacts who were tested and we're really awaiting those results," says Professor Michael Baker, an epidemiologist with Otago University. 

Not all lockdowns are created equal - it's different for everyone. For photographer Ian Moon and his four-year-old daughter Blessing, they're bubbling in a house truck.

"We're managing alright. We're playing our part. You might go for a bucket bath instead of a shower, but you just do what you've got to do," he told Newshub.

Caught on the road in Wellington away from home on the West Coast but prepared and happy to lock down longer.

"It's a small price to pay for a lot of people's safety," he says. 

And locking down like this will continue whenever Delta sneaks out - chilling in our bubbles is the strategy. 

"Even though I know we all want to block out the memory of 2020, we have been here before," Ardern said. "We know the elimination strategy works."

It seems 2021 is starting to feel a bit too reminiscent of 2020.