New Zealand records no new COVID-19 cases

On day two of a snap lockdown in New Zealand's biggest city, Auckland, the country recorded no new cases of COVID-19.

New measures were imposed on Auckland's two million residents after three new infections were detected there on the weekend.

The more transmissible UK variant was among the new cases and left authorities scrambling to trace the contacts of the family affected.

New Zealand's Director General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield:

"Contact tracing inquiries have now identified 109 close contacts outside the household. This increases in number is predominantly because of a very precautionary approach to people classified as close contacts at a new location of interest, which was a medical centre waiting room, where the father wasn't in the red lane for COVID testing.

The Auckland lockdown is the first in New Zealand in six months and prompted Australia to suspend its travel bubble with its neighbour.

The arrangement had allowed New Zealanders to enter Australia without serving a 14-day hotel quarantine period.

Meanwhile, New Zealand is gearing up to start its mass inoculation programme.

The first batch of 600,000 COVID-19 vaccines arrived in the country on Monday.

Once safety checks have been done, border officials will start receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech injection from Saturday.