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As new COVID cases stay low, New Zealand looks towards easing of restrictions

New Zealand’s daily COVID-19 numbers continue to provide good news as the nation looks ahead to start stepping down alert levels.

On Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson and Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield reported 20 new cases in the community, all in the Auckland region.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield reported that new COVID case numbers had stayed at 20 on Sunday.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield reported that new COVID case numbers had stayed at 20 on Sunday.Credit:Getty Images

On Saturday authorities reported 20 new cases, and the first death from the virus in 2021.

Daily case numbers have been declining since the outbreak reached its peak of 83 cases last Sunday.

“The ongoing fall in numbers is proving that alert level 4 in Auckland and our public health measures are rapidly slowing the spread of the virus, however it is not through yet and we need to remain extra vigilant,” Bloomfield told a televised briefing.

About 1.7 million people in Auckland have been in strict level 4 lockdown since the outbreak began in mid-August. Curbs have been eased since in the rest of the country, but schools, offices, restaurants and all public venues remain shut.

On Monday, cabinet will decide on alert levels for the rest of the country outside of Auckland. Auckland is to remain in full lockdown until at least September 13.

The decision will be announced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at 4pm on Monday.

The outbreak has resulted in a total of 801 infections in the New Zealand community.

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