Aucklanders will enjoy the freedom of larger gatherings and visiting shops when the region moves to step 2 of level 3 at midnight next Tuesday, November 9.
Restrictions in Waikato will ease to step 2 from midnight this Tuesday.
Waiheke and Great Barrier Island will also move to step 2 next week, but the border will remain in place with Aucklanders only allowed there for essential travel.
Here’s a quick reminder of what you can do at step 2 of level 3.
* Covid-19: Locations of interest in Delta outbreak – November 1
* Covid-19: Mt Albert Grammar principal ‘confident’ after student tests positive
* Covid-19 NZ: Official modelling suggests 1400 cases a week by end of month, 21 hospitalisations a day
Can I go shopping?
Yes, shops will reopen at step 2, with some restrictions still in place – you’ll need to wear a mask, and social distancing will be in place.
What about socialising?
Your social life will have to stay outside for now, but groups of up to 25 can meet (if you have that many friends). The two-household restriction is removed at step 2, but physical distancing is still strongly encouraged.
Where else can I go?
The Government’s Covid-19 website says at step 2, public facilities such as libraries and museums can reopen. Masks and social distancing are required.
Pools and zoos were previously on the list, too, but have fallen off since the three-step roadmap was announced.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins’ office said zoos would be able to open at step 2 but referred questions on pools to the Covid-19 media team.
Auckland Council’s website will be updated in due course with information on what facilities can open.
What about food and drink?
Cafes and restaurants will continue to be takeaway only.
And exercise classes?
Outdoor exercise classes, such as yoga and fitness bootcamps, can have 25 people including instructors, but they must maintain 2-metre social distancing.
What happens to the border?
Auckland’s border will stay in place at step 2, and will remain in place as the traffic light system is introduced.
There’s no definite end date for the internal border – it will depend on when different regions hit the 90 per cent vaccination rate. It isn’t clear how soon after transitioning into red Aucklanders would be able to leave the region.
Does this change school opening plans?
The decision to reopen schools sits outside the three-step roadmap. The indicative date for primary schools reopening is November 15, with the Government currently seeking feedback from principals.