Auckland has slipped two places in the list of the longest Covid-19 lockdowns in the world.
It comes as the region marks 100 days of lockdown since the Delta variant arrived in August.
In total, TÄmaki Makaurau has now spent 181 days on Alert Level 4 or 3 since the start of the pandemic in early 2020.
At the start of November, Auckland was ninth, but is now seventh.
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Auckland is just below Scotland and Malaysia, but well below Melbourne’s 263 total days of containment, which remains the longest in the world.
The city’s transition to the Covid-19 traffic light system on December 3 will mark a total of 189 days under severe but vital restrictions.
According to Oxford University Government Severity Index, the time spent in Auckland at Level 4 in August and September is 90 out of 100 rigorously, while Level 3 and the looser settings of Level 3, Stage 2 have a score of 78.2, among the highest rankings in the world.
Very few countries have more stringent measures at present. These include Fiji at 90.7, Myanmar at 85.1 and Greece at 80.09.
University of Otago (Wellington) psychiatrist and associate professor Susanna Every-Palmer said most Aucklanders would experience a long recovery from trauma lockdown caused by interruptions in their routine, boredom, laziness, loneliness and stress.
Those who have battled drug addiction or significant mental distress – about 10 percent of the population – would take longer than normal, she said.
They would need more help getting out of the hardships caused by the lockdown, she said, and the exact time it takes for them to recover will depend on what happens next.
âThe things that will be particularly protective will be if people can return to paid employment and find meaningful ways to spend their days. This will help people recover from the distress of the lockdown. “
Every-Palmer said as the new rules come into effect, people will remain compliant as long as they feel connected to the system.
âSticking to the rules when you know it will contribute to the well-being of your community is much easier for people than if the rules seem arbitrary. “
More important than the time Auckland was locked out was how long it had to last, Every-Palmer added.
âIt helps people have an end point. But the people of Auckland should be really proud of them during these 100 days.
Human rights lawyer Professor Claire Breen of the University of Waikato paid special attention to vaccination warrants and vaccination passports, two tools needed to break out of lockdown.
Under the new traffic light system, people will have to prove that they are vaccinated to access various services.
The legal framework for this was rushed through this week, despite fears it was rushed work.
Breen said it was difficult to say whether the last 100 days of lockdown had been better used to bring New Zealanders on board with the vaccine pass concept before they become mandatory.
âThere are so many complex parts to that, and part is whether there ever would have been enough time,â she said.
She said she was encouraged by the increase in vaccinations throughout the lockdown, as it shows people understand what is needed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.