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Mayor Goff Celebrates First Stage Of ‘Traffic Light’ System

After 107 days in COVID-19 lockdown it is fantastic that Aucklanders and Auckland businesses will be able to enjoy more freedoms as we move into the red phase of the new COVID-19 Protection Framework, or ‘traffic light’ system, Mayor Goff said this morning.

“This lockdown has been long and challenging for Aucklanders who have done it tough to protect the rest of New Zealand from COVID-19 and buy time for people around the country to get vaccinated against the virus,” he said.

“It has been particularly difficult for businesses that have had to stay closed or reduce operations and for people who have been unable to see friends and loved ones.

“However, today we start a new chapter and we do so with the knowledge that the sacrifices we have made over the past three and a half months have protected tens of thousands of people from the virus, ensured our health system was not overwhelmed and potentially saved hundreds or even thousands of lives.

“We only have to look to Melbourne and Sydney to see the damage that the delta variant could have caused here in Auckland, with tens of thousands of infections and more than 500 people dying in each city.

“A rapid response to Auckland’s outbreak and overall compliance with the restrictions imposed saved many lives. I’m proud of the efforts Aucklanders made.

“With Auckland now among the most vaccinated cities in the world and our vaccination rate continuing to increase, we can enjoy the new freedoms offered by the traffic light system and look forward to a further relaxation of restrictions.

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“Thank you to all the Aucklanders who have been team players in cooperating with measures to restrict the virus from spreading and to the vast majority of people who have stepped up to get vaccinated and keep their communities safe.

“I encourage everyone to enjoy the new freedoms we have from today, but please also remember to keep up with the health guidelines of the red stage by masking up where appropriate, tracking your movements with the NZ COVID Tracer app and isolating and getting a test if you develop any COVID symptoms.

“This is a day to celebrate and enjoy, but while we have moved to substantially ease restrictions in our COVID response, the pandemic is not over yet, so we have to continue to take the steps we need to keep ourselves safe.”

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