Mayor Phil Goff says that changes from Wednesday to Auckland’s alert level restrictions are modest but will be welcomed by many as a low-risk way of reconnecting with family and friends, and it’s good to have a roadmap setting out removal of restrictions as more people get vaccinated.
“With new cases of COVID-19 infections in the community still at significant levels, most Aucklanders did not expect a major lowering of restrictions this week,” he says.
“None of us like being in a lockdown, but most recognise the risks that a major spread of the virus would cause while so many Aucklanders are still not fully vaccinated.
“You only need to look across the Tasman at Melbourne and Sydney to know that if the contagion spreads out of control, thousands would need to be hospitalised, hundreds may die, and the hospital system would struggle to cope. Studies have shown that about 95 per cent of people who received both doses of the vaccine were protected against getting seriously ill.
“What is really clear is that the fastest path out of lockdown is to get Aucklanders vaccinated. The priority has to be to encourage the more than 200,000 Aucklanders who have not yet got their first dose to do so. Removing restrictions depends on making inroads into those numbers.
“It’s about understanding that the best way to protect yourself, your family and your community and getting our lives back is to get vaccinated,” the Mayor says.