The latest Super Rugby Aotearoa date could be affected by coronavirus restrictions, as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that Auckland will go into isolation and the rest of the country will enter level two.
The Blues, who have been drawing massive crowds to Eden Park, will host champion Crusaders next Sunday in their final home game. That encounter will come the day after the Highlanders face the Hurricanes.
Ardern’s announcement Tuesday night came after four cases of community transmission from the same family were confirmed, after 102 days without any. Ardern and Health Director General Ashley Bloomfield announced the news and an alert was sent to the phones of New Zealanders.
The New Zealand Herald reports that Auckland will move to Level 3 for three days until midnight on Friday. The rest of the country will go to alert level two at noon on Wednesday, until midnight on Friday.
For Auckland, that means working from home unless you’re an essential services worker.
“We are asking the people of Auckland to stay home to stop the spread,” Ardern said. “Act as if they have Covid, and as if the people around them have Covid.”
Auckland residents must wear a mask if they leave the house to access essential services. The rest of the country must wear a mask in situations where they cannot socially distance themselves.
Ardern said it wouldn’t be possible to isolate a small part of Auckland, and imposing Tier 3 across Auckland is about taking a precautionary approach. For the rest of the country, mass gatherings will be limited to 100 people.
New Zealand entered a level four lockdown on March 25 and went to level three on April 27. She then went to level two on May 13 and level one on June 9, a few days before the Aotearoa tournament began in front of huge crowds at Eden Park and Forsyth Barr Stadium.