There is no new normal. There is only change. It can be unsettling.

For some, this might have brought on a sense of deja vu.

An evening press conference, being fronted by the Prime Minister. And lots of ‘abundance of caution’ appearing in the afternoon press conference.

After an emergency Cabinet meeting this evening, the NZ Government has decided to #ActLikeItIsTheVariant in determining its response to the community cases detected in South Auckland in the last day. This is a wise precautionary approach, especially with the corollary that it will be reviewed every 24 hours in the three days that this change in posture has been called for. Specifically, the Auckland region enters Alert Level 3 at 11.59pm tonight for 72 hours, and the rest of New Zealand enters Alert Level 2. for the same period. The first opportunity for review will be taken at Cabinet tomorrow afternoon – February 15, 2021.

On the balance of risks, it looks like there were too many unknowns, weighed against the known increasing proportion of cases showing up at our border that are in fact the new more virulent pandemic coronavirus variants. We have been here before, and we have succeeded in containing and stamping out the virus. This time, the virus may spread more easily, so we need to be stringent in sticking to the advice we have been given at each of the alert levels.

Keep to the guidance.

Many people will be working into the night on our behalf to gather the information we need to determine the best course of action. In the meantime, and when that information comes, it’s in all our interests to go hard and go early. Experience overseas shows us pretty clearly that this the lesser price to pay overall, measured in so many different ways.

It may well be uncomfortable.

Especially for those of us asked to go to Alert Level 3. It may also be difficult for many different reasons, especially if you’ve a business to run, trips you’ve been looking forward to, or employees to look out for and pay. It’s all so very difficult and tiring. Hopefully, this alert-level escalation will be short-lived. But take the time to check your preparations for the future.

We have done this before.

We can do this again.

Play your part. Help others to play theirs. And we can do it again, together.

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