New Zealand's notable COVID-19 run is over and the country is crashing again after four members of the same family tested positive on Tuesday.
The nation was the world's envy of dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. Monday marks 101 days without a single case of community broadcast.
For three months now, New Zealanders have enjoyed the return of customary freedoms after an autumn lockdown was shown to be effective in clearing the deadly virus.
But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern scheduled a last-minute press conference on Tuesday evening for 9:15 p.m. and announced that these freedoms would be put on hold.
Stay at home orders will be filled across Auckland for 72 hours starting Wednesday noon, after the new cases in the city are identified.
More than 1.6 million people are only allowed to leave their homes for essential reasons.
The The rest of the nation will step into a second tier lockdown – social distancing and size collecting cap.
The contact tracing is currently ongoing in several workplaces across New Zealand and close contacts of the confirmed cases have been instructed to self-isolate.
The popular prime minister will move Auckland back into phase three starting Wednesday to curb the spread of the virus as part of her "resurrection plan".
Ms. Ardern is concerned about the origin of the outbreak as the family has no ties to overseas travelers or isolated hotel isolation.
An Auckland man in his fifties tested positive for coronavirus twice on Tuesday, five days after he first developed symptoms, sparking fears that he might have spread the virus in his community.
The man's partner and preschool age child are also among the newly confirmed cases.
"We have not yet been able to determine the cause of these cases. There is no known connection with the hotel quarantine," said Ms. Ardern on Tuesday evening.
"One of the most important lessons we learned from overseas is to work hard on it. As a precautionary measure, we will ask the Aucklanders to put in place a swift lockdown."
Ms. Ardern announced that the authorities "expect more cases" related to the cluster.
The new lockdown is part of the prime minister's coronavirus resurrection plan.
"You are asked to stay home in your bladder unless you are an essential worker," she said.
More than 1.6 million people are only allowed to leave their homes if, for material reasons, four new cases of community broadcast were identified on Tuesday
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern planned a last-minute press conference on Tuesday evening around 9:15 p.m. to publicize the lockdown
All bars, restaurants and public services must be closed by 12 noon on Wednesdays as gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited.
Schools will also be close to all students except children of key workers.
"When in Auckland we ask that you wear a mask when accessing essential services," added Ms. Ardern.
& # 39; While this initial three-day lockdown primarily affects the Auckland area, I ask our five-million-strong team to remain vigilant as well. We've beaten this virus before and can do it again. & # 39;
The rest of the nation will enter a level two three-day lockdown.
Level 2 lockdown involves social distancing, mindful hand washing, staying at home and looking for tests when things are not going well, and wearing a mask in areas where distancing is not possible.
Ms. Ardern wouldn't state whether the lockdown would be extended if contact tracing and widespread testing didn't identify the cause of the current outbreak.
Police stop vehicles in Auckland during the first phase of the lockdown in March
Auckland will re-enter the third phase of lockdown from Wednesday noon. Pictured: The police are carrying out checks during the last lockdown
"If we can't identify the source, we should be able to determine if we have more geographic coverage," said Ashley Bloomfield, New Zealand director general for health.
"We have been saying for a few weeks that it is inevitable that New Zealand will get another case of community broadcast."
Authorities hope their swift action will help manage the potential spread of the virus following the recent outbreak.
"We had 102 days and it was very easy to feel that New Zealand was not in the woods," said Ms Ardern on Tuesday evening.
“No country has gone as far as we have not to see a resurgence. But because we were the only ones, we knew we had to have a plan.
"My request is not to get discouraged or discouraged … we have prepared for that."
New Zealand was first locked on March 25 and acted quickly once the threat of COVID-19 was present.
By April 27, the virus appeared to be somewhat under control and the lockdown was eased to level three.
After a first outbreak in April, passengers at Auckland International Airport wear protective masks and gloves
Queen Street in the Auckland business district was deserted during the last COVID-19 virus lockdown in March
May 13th signaled the start of the second stage lockdown, while most restrictions were fully relaxed on June 9th.
Ms Ardern said she had no doubt that New Zealand would beat the virus for the second time.
Following the announcement, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff called for quiet in the community.
“I understand that right now people are probably a little scared, a little angry, and a little confused. Neither of us wanted to go into suspension again, but we always knew it was a very real possibility, ”he said.
“I urge the Aucklanders to come together, as we did last time, to stamp out community transmission. Please keep calm, please don't panic buying and please follow the blocking rules. & # 39;
New Zealand sees first cases of community transmission of COVID-19 for 102 days
* Four members of a family in South Auckland have tested positive for COVID-19.
* The & # 39; Index Case & # 39; is a person in their fifties who has been symptomatic for five days and has not had an overseas trip.
* Six family members received a quick test on Tuesday evening. Three tests were positive and three negative.
* Health officials move to isolate and test family contacts, including two workplaces in Auckland.
* Auckland is reverting to a level three lockdown from Wednesday noon through Friday noon at midnight. Aucklanders are asked to stay at home except for essential work or needs.
* The rest of New Zealand is returning to level two over the same period, with caps on gatherings and the return of social distancing.
* These measures are in place to allow health officials time to test and isolate contacts and pinpoint the cause of the outbreak.
* Every employee of the New Zealand border regime and the managed isolation facility will also be tested in the next few days.
Ms. Ardern assured that the public supermarkets would remain open and full during a lockdown and urged people not to flock to the stores.
Despite her request, supermarkets across Auckland were inundated with panicked residents by the end of the press conference.
About 50 people stood in line for the countdown in Westgate in northwest Auckland on Tuesday evening around 10 p.m.
The shop usually closes around 11pm but closes its doors at 10.30pm after the influx of people.
Countdown in Manukau and Johnsonville in Wellington are seeing a similar crowd of shoppers hoping to get their essentials.
The cases call into question New Zealand's election day, scheduled for September 19.
New Zealand First, the party of Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, suspended its campaign following the announcement.
Ms. Ardern discouraged panic buyers after the announcement of new blocking orders. Pictured: shoppers queuing outside a Costco in Melbourne in the distance to stock up on fourth tier restrictions and a curfew
The Auckland highways are traffic-free as the initial COVID-19 lockdown went into effect. Auckland will re-enter the third phase of lockdown