Snap lockdowns as NZ's Delta outbreak spreads

New Zealand's Delta variant outbreak has spread beyond the largest city of Auckland, prompting Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Sunday to put more regions in lockdown.

Auckland has been in lockdown since mid-August in what was meant to be a "short and sharp" nationwide lockdown.

While the rest of the country has largely returned to normal life, the North Island city has remained in lockdown for almost two-months.

Ardern called on citizens to get vaccinated to avoid more restrictions in the future:

"The people of Auckland are sacrificing a lot to do that too. But they are doing that to give everyone else time to be vaccinated. If in the meantime, the virus moves beyond the Auckland boundary and the places it moves to have low vaccination rates, then today is an example of how we will need to respond."

On Saturday protestors took to the streets to rally against the lockdown in Auckland, which Ardern called a 'slap in the face'.

32 new coronavirus cases were recorded on Sunday, and two cases in the Waikato region, south of Auckland. Parts of the region will go into a five-day lockdown.

She added that full vaccination will become a requirement for non-New Zealand citizens arriving in the country from Nov. 1.

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