Auckland will move to COVID-19 Alert Level 1 at midday on Friday.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Cabinet made a “preliminary” decision to make the move down alert levels late Thursday afternoon.
She defended her decision to wait until Friday before confirming and announcing the decision, saying she was still awaiting test results to provide enough assurance before making the call.
Ardern said she wanted to ensure the country had gone 14 days, or a full transmission cycle, without any cases of COVID-19 in the community.
She also wanted to see the results of day 12 tests of close contacts connected to ‘Case M’ in the Papatoetoe cluster. There are some outstanding day 12 tests, but these are for close contacts already in a quarantine facility.
"The Director-General of Health has advised Cabinet he considers the outbreak contained," Ardern said.
All of New Zealand is now at Level 1.