New Zealand recently marked 100 days with no new recorded Covid-19 cases and has only recorded 1,219 infections and 22 deaths since the start of the epidemic.
After celebrating a milestone of 100 days without new cases, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield warned the country that the disease can return at any moment.
"Achieving 100 days without community transmission is a significant milestone, however, as we all know, we can't afford to be complacent,” said Dr Bloomfield.
"We have seen overseas how quickly the virus can re-emerge and spread in places where it was previously under control, and we need to be prepared to quickly stamp out any future cases in New Zealand."
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that Australians would not be able to visit the country at least until the end of the year since Australia’s cases is on the rise and has recorded 394 new cases.
Ms Ardern told Newshub that is has become clear to them that opening up with surrounding countries, will come before any opening up with Australia.
Ardern added that officials are busy working on it in collaboration with the airlines. “That's going to take several weeks. Then we'll get a report back on exact dates when we'll be able to start the rollout of the reopening."
However, tragedy sparked when the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced four new cases in Auckland just two days after the 100 day mark.
She said that renewed restrictions would be enforced in the area, and that all close contacts as well as casual contact of the four new cases will remain in isolation for the 14 day period.
"This case is a wake-up call against any complacency that may have set in. We cannot afford to let this virus spread," Dr. Bloomfield said in a statement. "We have seen how quickly it can lead to a wider resurgence in communities overseas. Places that have had COVID-19 under control have seen flare-ups and gone back into a full lockdown. We are working to not let that happen here. We've done this before and we can do it again," he added.
Authorities announced that Auckland will be placed back under Alert Level 3 restrictions for the minimum of a three day period while the rest of the country will be moved up to Level 2. "These three days will give us time to assess the situation, gather information, make sure we have widespread contact tracing so we can find out more about how this case arose and make decisions on how to respond to it," Ardern stated.
"We are asking people in Auckland to stay home to stop the spread. Act as if you have COVID and as if the people around you have COVID. At Level 3, you are asked to stay at home in your bubble, other than for essential movements such as going to the supermarket or local recreation."