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PM outlines Level 2 rules - 'You'll no longer need to stick to your bubble'

The Prime Minister today outlined conditions the country will face under Covid-19 Alert Level 2, prior to next week's announcement of when New Zealand will move.

Source: 1 NEWS

What will happen under Level 2:

-Businesses can restart 
-Bubbles can cease
-Domestic travel recommences
-Schools and early learning centres can open
-Gatherings both indoors and outdoors are limited to 100 people*
-Public places reopen
-Sport and recreation comes back on-stream, including professional sports competitions
-Home gatherings must be kept small
-Hospitality must be seated, separated, single-server

Jacinda Ardern said today the aim of Level 2 was to reduce close contact with strangers, acknowledging virus was "probably still with us" but designed to get as many people back to work as possible.

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The Prime Minister gave an update today, ahead of the Government's announcement next week. Source: 1 NEWS

"It is very unlikely we have hunted down every single case of Covid-19, so we all have to stay on guard.

"Play it safe.

"We will only move there if things are under control, but it doesn't mean the fight is over."

Public health measures

Remain unchanged.

"If you are sick, stay home. If you have symptoms, even a runny nose, get a test. Now more than ever wash your hands. All of the time. Wash high touch services, don't pass people your phone," Ms Ardern said.

"Test, contact trace, isolate," will continue, she said.

Border rules

Remain unchanged. Kiwis coming in from overseas still adhere to a two-week managed quarantine.

Distancing

The two metre rule remains largely unchanged, but reduced around people we know.

However, Ms Ardern said it was "not always easy" to do at work.

"Playing it safe means 2m from strangers or workplace or people you know," Ms Ardern said.

"We can live with less (distance), because we can find them."

Workplace rules

Businesses can restart and people are allowed to return to their office space.

"While you can go back it is still worth the conversation with your boss if you should come back in person.

"What is non negotiable is those basic hygiene practices," she said.

Cleaners, hairdressers, retail stores and hospitality can return under Level 2, as long as they "play it safe".

That means large retail outlets and malls must adhere to same rules as supermarkets.

Hairdressers and beauticians must wear personal protective equipment.

Cafes, restaurants and bars

Limited to 100 people.

People must be seated and people must be separated.

"Covid-19 loves strangers," Ms Ardern said.

Each table must have a single server and there must be table service.

Contact tracing

"Contact tracing will also be key here," Ms Ardern said, referring to hospitality.

She said the Government was working on a "nationwide technological fix".

Manual or basic digital recording must be used in the meantime at places such as cafes and operators will have an obligation to manage customers outside their venues.

"There are significant risks in hospitality so there are significant rules to manage those risks."

Gatherings

Indoors has a maximum of 100.*

"We will also limit outdoor gatherings to 100* also," she said. It was previously 500 under Level 2.

"I know this will affect many but we have to keep working on getting things right."

Weddings, religious events and funerals can be held but with the guidance and 100* per limit.

Malls are allowed to have more than 100 people in them, so long as physical distancing occurs. This is the same as supermarkets and they would be expected to have managed entry appropriate to the size of the mall.

Bubbles

"You no longer need to stick to your bubble. You can begin to see family and friends again but we want you to hang on to the same principles that we are using in hospitality," Ms Ardern said.

"You can have friends and family over to your house but keep it small. This is not the time for a large party or function at your home."

Travel

"We will be allowing people to move around the country again at Level 2, but do it safely."

This includes tourism.

Distance is needed on public transport and at airports.

Education

Early childhood education, schools and tertiary services can resume.

"Additional public health control measures are in place to prevent the spread of the disease."

Distant learning services will continue for those who need it.

Schools will not fully reopen mid-week if Level 2 was to start then, they will open at the beginning of the following week.

If there are possible Covid-19 cases, they will need to close for 72 hours, and possibly two weeks after that.

Recreation and sport

Playgrounds, gyms and pools can return.

Professional sport is able to return domestically under Level 2. The rules around mass gathering will still apply.

Community sport, inclduing contact sports, can also resume - but with contact tracing at training and games.

"This is just the framework," Ms Ardern said.

"As our team of five million has stuck to tour strategy of going hard and going early to win the battle against Covid-19."

Today's Covid-19 cases sat at one and was a household contact of a previously confirmed case linked to the Matamata cluster. It brings the total number up to 1489.

Ms Ardern and her Cabinet are set to review when to move from Level 3 to 2 on Monday, May 11.

She said the decision would be "balanced" decision.

"We will do that with the best evidence and advice we can. We need every number from every single day to get the full set of data and the view of Director-General of Health," she said.

"No one wants a second wave. No one.

"The key focus is to understand where we are at in the battle with Covid. Every Level has its own battle and even when you win one that doesn't mean the war is over."

Last week, Ms Ardern said the Cabinet decision would be reliant on if there have been no or low case numbers in the days preceding.

May 11 will be just under two weeks since the country moved from Level 4 to Level 3.

After more than a month under strict Level 4 lockdown restrictions, NZ moved to Level 3 last week, allowing more people to return to work and restaurants and cafes to open for takeaway and delivery service.

* The 100 limit on gatherings was later reduced to 10. And then upped to 50 for funerals.