Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced how restrictions will ease when NZ comes off Covid-19 Alert Level 4.
The details of what Level 3 will look like were revealed in her daily 1pm briefing. Watch the whole video here.
Here are the main points:
Bubbles can be expanded "a small amount"
Some businesses can get up and running but must remain contactless
Bars, cafes, restaurants and malls must remain closed
Food delivery, drive through and online shopping can begin
Early childhood centres and schools will be available up to Year 10 only
Funerals, tangi, weddings allowed with a maximum of 10 people
Travel restrictions remain but move from local to regional
No decision has yet been made on when we will go to Level 3 - Cabinet is due to review that on Monday.
Details as they were announced by Ms Ardern and Dr Ashley Bloomfield, Director-General of Health, below:
1.51pm: Dr Bloomfield: "We will not be out of the woods in Level 3. We need to be more vigilant as everybody will have more contact with other people."
Ms Ardern: "Level 3 is not designed to be a place we want to be for a long time." She has spoken to the Prime Ministers of Denmark and Singapore to learn from their experiences.
1.50pm: Schools will work out how playgrounds operate to maintain distancing. Public playgrounds will stay closed.
1.49pm: Cafes will be able to do click and collect.
1.40pm: No further decision has been made on whether the public should wear face masks. Dr Bloomfield says they are monitoring international examples and research.
1.38pm: On suggestion of a "trans-Tasman bubble", PM says focus at the moment is to eradicate Covid-19 in our own country. She will continue speaking with the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
1.33pm: Clusters allow health authorities to track where cases are, the bigger issue is the small number of cases where the route of transmission is not known, PM says. Regional decisions will partly rely on how they can be enforced.
1.31pm: Extended bubbles under Level 3 could include older people, but might require strict hygiene and distancing, Dr Bloomfield says.
Children with compromised immunity should still stay home.
PM says contact with other people should still stay "very, very limited".
1.29pm: The number of people back at work will roughly double to 1 million under Level 3, PM says.
1.27pm: Detail not yet available on health workers such as dentists operating under Level 3. That should be available in 48 hours.
1.25pm: Workplaces will need cleaning regimes and social distancing arrangements, with a work site plan available for employees and customers.
1.24pm: Schools returning up to Year 10 under Level 3 is because that covers children up to age 14 who need adult supervision, PM says.
1.23pm: Under Level 3, the return to work is aimed at those who cannot work from home, such as tradies.
1.22pm: PM reminds people she is not announcing move to Level 3 today, that she is just setting out how it will work if we move to that stage next week or later.
1.20pm: Significant controls on movement and socialising will not be eased until Level 2, PM says. She says aim is to defeat virus now and not have to go back to Levels 3 or 4 later.
1.18pm: Social distancing with people you know can reduce to 1m under Level 3. But Ms Ardern stresses importance of keeping distance, washing hands and keeping note of where you have been and who you have been in touch with to enable tracking.
1.17pm: Funerals, tangi and weddings with up to 10 people are allowed under Level 3.
Gatherings in general are still not permitted.
1.16pm: Travel restrictions remain, but go from local to regional at Level 3, PM says.
1.15pm: Schools can re-open up to Year 10 at Level 3. Attendance is voluntary.
1.13pm: Business moves from "essential" to "safe" under Level 3, PM says.
Electricians and plumbers can go back to work, but stay away from customers.
Cafes, restaurants, malls and retail shops stay closed.
Food delivery, drive through and online shopping is allowed.
1.10pm: Alert Level 4 aim is to eliminate contact. Level 3 is to restrict contact. At Level 3 the message is still: Stay home, save lives. Keep your bubble, but you can expand it a small amount such as a caregiver you need access to, or a single person who needs access to a sibling.
1.09pm: Today's information does not go ahead of the decision on Monday about whether we come out of Level 4 on Wednesday night, PM says.
1.06pm: Jacinda Ardern says she chose decisive, pre-emptive action by going into lockdown early and the results are promising. Success should not be regarded as over-reaction, she says. The country and economy would've been hit harder without elimination of the virus. "We have made a good start but need to keep going."
1.03pm: Dr Ashley Bloomfield, Director-General of Health, begins the briefing by announcing today's Covid-19 numbers. There are 15 new cases today, with no new deaths. Twelve people are in hospital, three of them in ICU, 2 of them critical.
12pm: What we know already
Earlier today, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters indicated "a whole lot" of businesses would be allowed to operate under Level 3, if they can meet strict requirements.
On Sunday, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said some students could start returning to school for face-to-face lessons on Wednesday April 29, if the Level 4 lockdown lifts on time next week.
The four-week Level 4 lockdown period is due to end at 11.59pm on Wednesday, April 22. This will be subject to a review by Cabinet on Monday, April 20.
Alert Level 3, is defined by the Government as "restrict". It means there is a "heightened risk that disease is not contained", that community transmission is occurring or multiple clusters have broken out.
The measures which can be applied locally or nationally are:
- travel in areas with clusters or community transmission limited
- affected educational facilities closed
- mass gatherings cancelled
- public venues closed (eg libraries, museums, cinemas, food courts, gyms, pools, amusement parks)
- alternative ways of working required and some non-essential businesses should close
- non face-to-face primary care consultations
- non acute (elective) services and procedures in hospitals deferred and healthcare staff reprioritised.