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America's Cup goes into three day COVID lockdown - no racing Wednesday

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New Zealand confirmed a fresh outbreak of Covid-19 in the community today, with a family of three testing positive including a woman who works for a catering firm servicing global flights.

The pair spoke in an ominous tone in a snap briefing on Sunday afternoon, when Ms Ardern announced Aukland would move to Level Three restrictions, while the rest of New Zealand would move to Level Two.

Hipkins said he anticipated being able to provide an update on the new cases tonight. People are not required to isolate or seek a test in Taranaki or Auckland unless they have symptoms or were at one of the locations of concern during the relevant period.

On Sunday, Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield announced a mother, father and their daughter had returned positive tests this weekend.

She says it's a "good, timely reminder too, to everyone, please turn on the Bluetooth function and keep scanning".

Ardern said "we need to act with a high degree of caution" and "go hard and early".

The new cases, the first since January 24, forced Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to return to the capital Wellington, skipping a gay pride event in Auckland that she was due to attend on Sunday afternoon.

The new levels will be enforced from Sunday at 11:59pm until midnight on Wednesday.

On Saturday, Mr Johnson said he was "optimistic" about forthcoming plans for a "cautious" easing of England's lockdown - expected to begin with the reopening of schools from 8 March.

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"We will collect more information before we would make any such decision", Hipkins added.

"At this stage we don't know whether we need to".

"They are new and active infections", Health Minister Chris Hipkins said. They said the mother works at an airline catering company, and officials are investigating whether there is a link to infected passengers.

The father is self-employed in the building industry, and the daughter is a student at Papatoetoe High School, a large school in the south of Auckland.

New Zealand has said it secured up to 750,000 courses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine through an Advance Purchase Agreement, and was seeking a further small allocation through the COVAX Facility.

Indeed, Ardern on Sunday had planned to attend the Big Gay Out, an Auckland festival that celebrates the rainbow community and attracts tens of thousands of people.

New Zealand, with a population of 5 million, has reported a total of just over 2,300 cases and 25 deaths since the pandemic started.

Those cases were traced back to a hotel where the people had completed quarantine after travelling from overseas.

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