New Zealand puts quarter of population back in coronavirus lockdown after four new infections

NEW Zealand has placed a quarter of its population back into lockdown after four new cases of coronavirus were identified.

The news comes after the country went 102 days without recording any new cases of community transmission.

The new outbreak reportedly involves four members of the same family.

Residents in the city of Auckland, whose population is 1.6million, will be placed under a level-three lockdown for three days from midday on Wednesday.

The measures mean people will be told to remain at home, work from home if possible, and to limit their contact to their immediate "bubble".

The rest of the country will enter a level-two lockdown, which requires social distancing in public places and prohibits gatherings of more than 100.

Speaking at a late-night press conference on Tuesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: "We have not yet been able to determine the source of these cases, there is no known link to hotel quarantine.

"One of the most important lessons we have learned from overseas is to go hard at this.

"In line with our precautionary approach, we will be asking Aucklanders to take swift lockdown.

"If you are in Auckland, we ask that you wear a mask when accessing essential services.

"While this initial three day lockdown will primarily effect the Auckland region, I am asking our team of five million to stay alert as well.

"We have defeated this virus before and can do it again."

She also said that authorities were "expecting to see" more positive cases.  

More to follow…

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