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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern after a press conference at Parliament on July 22 in Wellington, New Zealand. Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Auckland is locking down and the rest of New Zealand faces lesser restrictions for 72 hours after four members of the same family tested positive for COVID-19, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: It's the first cases not in managed isolation for 102 days, Ardern said at a news briefing.

"Together we have beaten the virus before. We can do so again."
— Ardern

What to expect: From noon Wednesday until midnight Friday in Auckland, in-person school lessons will be closed to all but the children of essential workers, non-essential businesses can open, but there must be no physical interaction with customers and the Aucklanders are advised to work from home.

  • Those who outside of Auckland will not be allowed to travel to New Zealand's most populous city for the lockdown period.
  • Social distancing measures will be reintroduced and larger gatherings, such as for events like funerals, will also be limited across the country.

What happened: NZ's top health official Ashley Bloomfield added that a young child was among those to test positive. The family member who initially tested positive for the virus has no history of overseas travel, he said.

Flashback: New Zealand beats coronavirus

Go deeper

Nov 21, 2020 - Health

U.S. surpasses 12 million COVID-19 cases

People wait in line to get tested for COVID-19 at the Ann Street School Testing Center in Newark, New Jersey. Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. surpassed 12 million coronavirus cases on Saturday, per data from Johns Hopkins University, the second time the country has recorded more than 1 million new cases in less than a week.

Why it matters: The grim milestone comes as the U.S. prepares for the Thanksgiving holiday, when millions of people, despite warnings, planning to travel and gather with family and friends.

Nov 22, 2020 - Health

Portugal to ban domestic travel for national holidays as coronavirus cases surge

Passengers wear mandatory protective masks while riding on a bus in in Lisbon, Portugal. Photo: Horacio Villalobos#Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Portugal will ban most domestic travel and close schools on the days around two upcoming national holidays, the country's ministry of health said Saturday.

Why it matters: Portugal recorded 6,472 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, per the health ministry. The country of 10 million ranks seventh in Europe for the number of total cases per 100,000 people and 14th for new deaths from the virus, Reuters reported, citing the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control figures.

Updated 19 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: New York Supreme Court grants stay for indoor mask mandate — Neil Young demands Spotify take down music over vaccine misinformation — Biden admin withdraws temporary vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker