COVID-19 lockdown postpones Prada Cup
Published on February 14th, 2021
Auckland, New Zealand (February 14, 2021) – As a result of the Government announcement of a Level 3 lockdown in Auckland, initially for 72 hours, the next scheduled race day on Wednesday (Feb. 17) have been postponed and the event village will not be open to the public during this time.
America’s Cup Event Ltd will be working with the Authorities and relevant agencies over the next few days to work through the ongoing ramifications.
In a report by the BBC, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern ordered the country’s biggest city Auckland to go into lockdown after the discovery of three new local cases of COVID-19.
Ardern said the country was going “hard and early” after the cases were identified, with her order requiring residents to stay at home.
The country closed its borders entirely to almost all non-citizens or residents early on in the pandemic, aiming to eliminate the virus, and has gone months without community transmission. New Zealand, with a population of five million, has recorded just over 2,300 cases of Covid and 25 deaths.
The measures in Auckland require its 1.7 million residents to stay at home except for essential shopping and work. Schools and non-essential shops will close, and entry in and out of the city restricted. Ardern said three days should allow the government to get more information and get more testing done, and would also help determine if there was any community transmission.
“New cases of COVID-19 in the community was something none of us wanted to happen,” said Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, adding the restrictions were the “best way to stamp out the virus.”
The rest of the country moves to a higher level of alert, with schools and businesses remaining open but people encouraged to find alternative ways of working if possible.
The three community cases were announced earlier on Sunday (Feb. 14) – a mother, father, and daughter from South Auckland. It is unclear how the three contracted the virus. The mother works in the laundry department for an airline catering facility, while New Zealand media said the father was a self-employed tradesman.
New Zealand’s Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said his team was “working under the assumption that it is one of the new variants.” He added that the initial focus on investigations was the mother’s workplace “because of its obvious connections to the border.”
Opposition leader Judith Collins urged New Zealanders to follow the advice of health officials. But she called for border workers to be vaccinated, saying: “If this proves to be another border failure that is unacceptable. Our border should be rock-solid by now.”
Prada Cup Final Scoreboard (wins-losses)
INEOS Team UK (GBR): 0-4
Luna Rossa (ITA): 4-0
The PRADA Cup is a series of four round robins (Jan. 15-17 and Jan. 22-24), with the winner of the series qualifying for the PRADA Cup Final and the remaining two Challengers going into a Semi-Final Series (Jan. 29-Feb. 2) for the right to join the Round Robin winner in the Final (Feb. 13–22). The first team in the Final to win seven races earns entry to face the Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand, in the America’s Cup Match beginning March 6.
Source: Prada Cup, Scuttlebutt