New Zealand extends COVID-19 alert level in capital

People wearing face masks wait for a bus on the first day of New Zealand's new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) safety measure that mandates wearing of a mask on public transport, in Auckland, New Zealand, August 31, 2020. REUTERS/Fiona Goodall

June 27 (Reuters) - New Zealand will extend the COVID-19 alert level in the capital Wellington for two days, as authorities said on Sunday there is still a risk from an Australian tourist who tested positive for the coronavirus after visiting the city last weekend.

Wellington, which moved to Alert Level 2 on Wednesday, will now remain at that level until Tuesday.

"It's clear that we are not out of the woods yet," COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins told a news briefing. "More testing and more results are required in order for us to feel confident in making a decision to lower alert levels."

The measure means social distancing rules will be in place across the city, but offices, schools and businesses may remain open.

New Zealand halted quarantine-free travel from Australia on Saturday for three days, saying there were too many cases and outbreaks. read more

"The three-day pause will give us time to look at whether we need to impose additional measures, as well as give us time to further understand the situation in Australia," Hipkins said.

Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by William Mallard

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.