WELLINGTON, Aug 11 – The final weekend of Super Rugby Aotearoa is in doubt after New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced new Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in the country.
Ardern and director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield made the announcement on Tuesday night after four new coronavirus cases were confirmed within the same family in Auckland – 102 days after the last community transmission in the country.
Ardern confirmed that, as of noon Wednesday, Auckland will go into a level three lockdown and the rest of the country will go into level two. The lockdown will last until midnight on Friday, when the situation will be reassessed.
“We’re asking people in Auckland to stay home to stop the spread,” Ardern said. “Act as if you have Covid, and as though people around you have Covid.”
The Highlanders are scheduled to take on the Hurricanes in Dunedin on Saturday, while the Blues are set to host the Crusaders in front of sell-out 43 000 crowd at Auckland’s Eden Park Stadium on Sunday.
A statement from New Zealand Rugby said they will give an update on the situation on Wednesday.
“NZR is currently assessing the impact on rugby following the announcement that Auckland will tomorrow move to Covid-19 Level 3 and the rest of the country to Level 2,” the statement read.
“NZR is in close dialogue with Government and an update will be given tomorrow.”