NEW ZEALAND — New Zealand’s largest city of Auckland has begun a three-day lockdown following the discovery of three unexplained coronavirus cases in the community.
Health officials say the cases are of the more contagious variant first found in Britain and that genome testing hadn’t linked them to any previous known cases.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the lockdown after an urgent meeting with other top lawmakers in the Cabinet. She says they decided to take a cautious approach until they find out more about the outbreak.
The rest of New Zealand has also had restrictions imposed, including limiting crowd sizes to 100.
The lockdown, which extends through Wednesday, is the first in New Zealand in six months and represents a significant setback in the nation’s largely successful efforts to control the virus. It has also forced a delay in the America’s Cup sailing regatta.