NZ could move to Alert Level 1 next week after PM brings forward review

Cabinet will have a full review of New Zealand's Alert Levels on June 8, meaning it's possible that New Zealand could move to Alert Level 1 next week.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the country was "ahead of schedule", with continual zero cases and only one active case of Covid-19. 

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A move depends on if there are any more Covid-19 cases in the next week, Jacinda Ardern said. Source: 1 NEWS

She said there was an expected tail or spike of Covid-19 as rules are eased, but so far it had not eventuated. 

"Our strategy of going hard and early has paid off," Ms Ardern said in her post-Cabinet meeting press conference.

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Ms Ardern said it put New Zealand in the "enviable" situation of having choices. 

"Cabinet will fully review Alert Level 2 at the next Cabinet meeting."

Ms Ardern said that could mean New Zealand could move next week to Alert Level 1. 

"Only if there are no unexpected cases over the coming days then we could be in a position to move to Level 1 that week."

She said there were still concerns in the scientific community around lifting levels. 

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Previously, Ms Ardern said Cabinet would "check in" on Alert Level 2 settings on June 8, with a decision of what date to move to, to be made before June 22. 

This morning, Ms Ardern said it was the "success of the team of five million, is the reason we’re in a position to be considering an early move to Level 1".

"When we started to see the consistent zero cases, reduction in our active cases, that has been a prompt for us to look at bringing forward that consideration. 

"It will put us in a very unique position and I thank New Zealanders for that, and that’ll put us in the position to be amongst the very few in the world with essentially what will feel like no restrictions."

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Jacinda Ardern says Cabinet will discuss easing restrictions further when they meet on June 8. Source: Breakfast

"Essentially Level 1 very much feels like we’re back to normal, but contact tracing remains, good public hygiene remain, border restrictions remain."

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters had been openly calling for the country to move to Alert Level 1. 

Earlier today, National Party leader Todd Muller called the Government "fractured", saying Mr Peters' position and the Prime Minister's "creates the confusion out in the community".

"If Bayfair in Tauranga was similar to the rest of the malls around New Zealand (over the long weekend), there wasn’t a lot of social distancing going on.

"That’s not a criticism of New Zealand, it is because the messages that have come from this Government, particularly the deputy Prime Minister, is that we already should be in Level 1."