Alongside social restrictions, key elements of the NZ response included: widespread testing; active contact tracing; clear communication; and trusted leadership from experts and politicians.
Our response to the first wave, summarized as "act early, trace vigorously, test widely and communicate clearly", has become the hallmark of New Zealand’s future and ongoing response. New Zealand’s second wave began on August 11 and was again characterized by immediate restrictions and widespread testing. On this occasion, the time between the first imposition of restrictions and being back to level 1 with no community transmission, was 57 days (October 8). This outbreak was limited to just 186 cases and three deaths. In contrast to our first response, this time we used a regional lockdown, whereby Auckland was restricted (Level 3), while the rest of the country moved into a heightened state of alert (Alert Level 2).