New Zealand reports three new COVID-19 local cases, first since January

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New Plymouth has also been identified as an area of interest because two of the cases travelled there from February 6th to 8th for a short holiday and visited a number of tourist attractions.

"This evening, I want to speak to the rest of New Zealand, as well as the people of South Auckland", he said.

New Zealand confirmed a fresh outbreak of Covid-19 in the community today, with a family of three testing positive including a woman who works for a catering firm servicing worldwide flights.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that Auckland will be locked down for three days after three positive Covid tests were announced on Sunday.

Of the three new cases, the mother looms as a likely index case, given she works at a catering company which services planes at Auckland airport.

More testing is being done to ascertain what strain this is, and whether there's a match to any other case in New Zealand.

The three new cases in the community are a father, mother and daughter who live in south Auckland.

"It's going to take all the year to vaccinate everyone", Ardern said.

The father is a self-employed tradesman and the daughter is a high school student at Papatoetoe High School, which will be closed Monday and Tuesday.

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"Then people are infectious a couple of days before that so it's possible that she was quite infectious a week ago but this will all start to come out with time".

"Our system has swung into action, we are gathering all of the facts as quickly as we can", Mr Hipkins said.

"We have pre-purchased enough vaccines to cover all New Zealanders and to do so for free, and the Pacific as well", she said.

"If you feel unwell, please call Healthline and arrange to get a test".

"That is what we believe the cautious approach requires and its the right thing to do".

"Acting with an abundance of caution is a good idea until we have information about what variant it is, this is just the way that you put a stop on the transmission chain while gathering more information so hopefully the three days is all we'll need".

As at 1.30pm, there had been no change to New Zealand's level 1 status, Hipkins said this afternoon. "Please keep following the health guidelines including scanning the COVID Tracer app-this is the best way to keep everyone safe".

The two cases, including a 3-year-old child, were the first two who were not household contacts of a cluster of infected workers at a quarantine hotel at Melbourne airport which triggered the five-day lockdown, health authorities said.

Ardern and Director general of health Ashley Bloomfield are fronting a 7pm press conference.

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