The Department of Internal Affairs, LGNZ, SOLGM, NEMA and other relevant government agencies have established a Covid-19 Local Government Response Unit to canvas and work through the immediate and longer-term challenges the disease poses for the local government sector and to support you in your responses to these evolving challenges. 

Update: 
• As of midday today (Wednesday August 12) the Auckland region (Auckland Council area) will move to Alert Level 3 for 3 days until midnight on Friday 14 August. The rest of New Zealand will move to Alert Level 2.
• Yesterday evening, the Prime Minister addressed the nation about new positive cases of COVID-19 in the community that have been identified in Auckland.
• There is no known link between the cases and Managed Isolation and Quarantine Facilities.
• There is also no known link between this case and the two Christchurch rest homes in partial lockdown due to flu-like symptoms who are awaiting results of precautionary tests.

Guidance on council services under COVID-19 Alert Levels
• The attached guidance on council services and operations across the COVID-19 Alert Levels can be found on the COVID-19 Local Government Response Unit webpage: https://www.dia.govt.nz/Local-Government-COVID-19-Response
• In the Prime Minister’s statement, you may have noted the following message regarding masks: “We know now that these can be effective in reducing spread. If you are in Auckland, we ask that you use a mask when you are accessing essential services. For the rest of the country, we advise their use if you’re in a place where social distancing is difficult. The full media release can be found here: https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/pm-comments-auckland-covid-19-case
• We will work with the All of Government COVID-19 team to assess whether our guidance needs to be updated to reflect this and will update you should this Guidance need to be updated. In the interim, the COVID-19 webpage has updated guidance on masks here: https://covid19.govt.nz/health-and-wellbeing/masks/

Key Messages for Auckland cases
• Below and attached you will find key messages for people in and outside of Auckland that you may use.
Key messages to people in Auckland:
• Travel in and out of Auckland will be restricted to essential travel only, with roadblocks in place
• Work from home unless you are an essential worker
• All schools and childcare facilities will be closed except for children of essential service workers.
• All public facilities, bars, restaurants and businesses should close.
• Supermarkets, pharmacies, and petrol stations remain open – shop as normal. Food delivery will be available
• Keep a 2 metre physical distance and wear a mask when in public when you can’t distance..
• Stay home if you’re sick, wash your hands, cough or sneeze into your elbow, clean surfaces
• Keep a record of where you have been, use the NZ COVID app
• If you have cold or flu like symptoms call your GP or Healthline to book a free COVID-19 test, and get tested if asked
• The latest information can be found on www.covid19.govt.nz or the Unite Against Covid social media channels

Key messages to people outside Auckland:
• Auckland has a new case of COVID-19 and moves to Alert Level 3
• The rest of New Zealand moves to Alert Level 2
• There will only be essential travel to/from Auckland
• Don’t panic buy, all businesses outside Auckland are open with social distancing in place.
• Keep a 2 metre physical distance and wear a mask when in public when you can’t distance.
• Stay home if you’re sick, wash your hands, cough or sneeze into your elbow, clean surfaces
• If you are sick call your GP or Healthline to book a free COVID-19 test, and get tested if asked
• Keep a record of where you have been, use NZ COVID app.
• The latest information can be found on www.covid19.govt.nz or the Unite Against Covid social media channels
These measures are temporary to stop the spread of COVID-19 and will apply for the next three days while information is gathered and contact tracing and testing is underway.

Other useful resources
• The All of Government communications team will be updating the Unite Against Covid digital channels, including boosted social media posts, Radio and TV information, and the website www.covid19.govt.nz with the following key messages for people in the area of Auckland.
• You may find posters to support the key messages here: https://covid19.govt.nz/updates-and-resources/posters/
• In July the Government set out the “Stamp it Out” framework for responding to new cases of community transmission, should these arise.
• We have re-attached a set of key messages and an A3 on strategy that you may find useful to support you in conversations with your communities.

This situation is fast-moving and further updates will follow.