New Zealand reported 20 new community cases of Delta variant of COVID-19 on Monday, all in the largest city of Auckland, bringing the total number of cases in the country's community outbreak to 821.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced at a press conference that everywhere outside of Auckland will move to Alert Level 2 from 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, which means businesses and schools are back to normal, with masks mandatory in more settings and gatherings limited to 50 people.
Auckland will remain at Level 4 for at least another week.
New Zealand moved to a national lockdown from midnight Aug. 17 after the first COVID-19 Delta variant case in the Auckland community was identified.
There have been 804 cases reported in Auckland and 17 cases in the capital Wellington, according to the Ministry of Health.
The ministry statement said there are 788 cases that have been clearly epidemiologically-linked to another case or sub-cluster, and a further 33 for which links are yet to be fully established.
Of the current community cases, 40 cases are in hospital, including six cases in intensive care units (ICUs) or high dependency units (HDUs), it said.
New Zealand also reported three new cases in recent returnees, and they have remained in managed isolation and quarantine facilities in Auckland, said the statement.
The total number of confirmed cases in New Zealand since the start of the pandemic is 3,436, it said.