Check in here for the key, verified facts on how New Zealand is dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.
2pm, Thursday 16 April - Day 22 of lockdown
Here are today's stats in infographics:
1pm, Thursday 16 April - Day 22 of lockdown
There are 15 new cases today, bringing New Zealand’s total number of cases to 1401. There are no further deaths.
Today our number of new recovered cases is 42. Our total number of recovered cases is 770.
There are 12 people in hospital, with three of those in intensive care units, two in a critical condition.
Yesterday there were 3661 tests carried out. In total 70,160 tests have been done.
The Prime Minister has announced what life at level 3 might look like - but any decision on whether we actually move out of lockdown to level 3 will not be announced until next Monday 20th.
The aim of level 4 is to eliminate contact with each other. The aim of level 3 is to restrict contact. The Prime Minister says level 3 is like a “recovery room” - “Just like when you're recovering from illness, you still need to stay home.”
Bubbles at level 3: you can add a few more people
Your bubble can be expanded slightly, for example if you have a caregiver, a partner caring for others, or a single person who wants the company of a sibling. “But keep it exclusive, keep it small,” says the Prime Minister.
Business at level 3: from essential operations only to safe operations only
Businesses that can operate without any face-to-face contact with the public can open.
This means food delivery, drive-though, click-and-collect and online shopping can begin.
Public-facing bars, restaurants, cafes, malls and retail stores are not allowed to open because they have “contact on too-large a scale with members of the public”.
Everyone who can work from home must do so. Industries that can’t work from home like forestry and construction or trades that go into other people’s homes like furniture removal, electricians or plumbers are allowed to open but must apply health and safety expectations like social distancing and good hygiene practices.
“At level 3, we cautiously start opening up our economy,” says the Prime Minister.
“Our best economic strategy is still to win the fight against the virus, and that means we get out of restrictions sooner.”
Education at level 3: schools can open up to Year 10
Preschools and schools up to Year 10 will be partially opened, but attendance is voluntary.
Children will be kept in their own school bubbles in small groups, and children who can stay home will be encouraged to do so.
Tertiary education will all be online except work that must be done in person like lab work or trades training. Courses where close contact is unavoidable will remain online only.
Travel at level 3: keep it regional, rather than keep it local
“We don't want to take potential Covid cases to other parts of the country,” says the Prime Minister.
You can travel across your city to get to work, but people living in Hamilton shouldn't be travelling to Auckland.
Recreation at level 3: you can swim and surf but keep it alone
You can swim, surf or fish from the shore. But all recreation must be alone or in your bubble, and must be low-risk and non-motorised. Things like boating and jet skis are not allowed as they’re prone to accidents or breakdowns that lead you to have contact with others.
“Now is not the time to take up a new activity that you have never done before. It is too risky, and the point is really to reduce down contact with others,” says the Prime Minister.
“If there is any sign of congregation, we will not hesitate to review these changes, so please do not rush to congregate places others will as well.”
Events at level 3 - funerals, tangi and weddings can go ahead but with no more than 10 people
The Prime Minister says live events like weddings and funerals are a “major risk and only require one person to be carrying the virus to spread it to dozens of others,” as was seen from a wedding in Bluff that has resulted in 92 cases and one death.
Funerals and tangi can go ahead but with no more than 10 people present. Weddings must also have no more than 10 people and can only be services, with no food or receptions afterwards.
Life at level 3: “a progression, not a rush to normality”
The Prime Minister says many things under level 3 will feel the same as they do under level 4.
“It is not until level 2 that there is significantly lower risk to public health and there can be significant loosening of controls on people’s movement and your ability to socialise with each other.”
You should still keep 2 metres away from others. In areas where clear contact tracing could happen like workplaces or education facilities, 1 metre can apply.
“Continue to act like you have Covid and those around you have it too,” says the Prime Minister. “Keep a note of where you have been, who you were with - it will help when we are trying to contact potential cases.”
The Prime Minister says the success of lockdown gives her confidence, but vigilance is needed to make sure we don’t go backwards. “We are better off to stay longer at level 4 and 3 and defeat the virus, rather than moving too quickly and having to move backwards and forwards between the levels or stay in them longer overall.”
She says the last thing we want to do is give away the gains won in lockdown.
“We have the opportunity to do something no other country has achieved - elimination of the virus. But it will continue to need a team of 5 million behind it.”
1pm, Wednesday 15 April - Day 21 of lockdown
There are 20 new cases today, bringing New Zealand’s total number of cases to 1386. There are no further deaths.
Today our number of new recovered cases is 100. Our total number of recovered cases is 728.
There are 13 people in hospital, with three of those in intensive care units, two in a critical condition.
Yesterday there were 2100 tests carried out. In total 66,499 tests have been done.
The Prime Minister, government ministers and public service chief executives will take a 20% pay cut for the next six months.
“We feel acutely the struggle that New Zealanders are facing,” says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. She says it won’t make much of a difference to the government's overall financial position, but “it is about leadership”.
There are now 16 clusters, with one new cluster connected to an Auckland aged care facility. A cluster is a group of 10 or more cases considered to be linked to the same source.
Health workers now make up 8% of cases, with 115 cases in total. But less than five of those cases have come from the patient infecting the worker. Over half of the cases have come from outside the workplace, including 22% from where the health worker had travelled overseas.
Nearly 40% of all cases of health workers with Covid-19 are from workers at aged residential care facilities.
4pm, Tuesday 14 April - Day 20 of lockdown
The government has announced a new package to support tertiary students. It includes:
- Temporarily increasing the amount you can borrow for course-related costs from $1000 to $2000
- Students who are unable to study online will still be able to receive loans and allowances for up to eight weeks
- If your course is discontinued due to Covid-19, it won’t affect your future entitlement to student loans or the fees-free scheme
Over Easter weekend thousands of motorists were stopped at 661 Easter road checkpoints. To date, there have been 1452 breaches of the lockdown, and 169 prosecutions.
1pm, Tuesday 14 April - Day 20 of lockdown
There are four new deaths in New Zealand from Covid-19, one in Wellington and three additional deaths from the Rosewood Rest Home cluster in Christchurch. This brings the total number of deaths to nine.
The Wellington death was a man in his 70s. Of the Rosewood deaths, two were men in their 90s, and one was a man in his 80s.
“It is a sobering reminder of what is at stake here,” says Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.
Dr Bloomfield has read aloud some messages from family members of Rosewood residents who say they are grateful for the staff at the rest home and Burwood Hospital. “They are just amazing, doing an incredible job,” one family member said. “We couldn't speak more highly of the staff and the care dad received both at Burwood and at Rosewood,” another said.
Six aged care facilities have cases of Covid-19, out of over 650 facilities nationwide.
“We know that aged residential care is very vulnerable, so we have been particularly vigilant from early on to work closely with aged residential care,” says Dr Bloomfield.
There are 17 new cases today, bringing New Zealand’s total number of cases to 1366.
Today our number of recovered cases is 82. Our total number of recovered cases is 628.
There are 15 people in hospital, with three of those in intensive care units, one in a critical condition.
- 39% of the cases are linked to overseas travel
- 48% are close contacts of someone else with Covid-19
- 2% are community transmission
Yesterday there were 1572 tests carried out. In total 64,399 tests have been done.
Monday 13 April 1pm - Day 19 of lockdown - Easter Monday
New Zealand has experienced another Covid-19 death, bringing the total number of deaths to five. A man in his 80s has died at Burwood Hospital in Christchurch. He was a resident of Rosewood Rest Home, the third person within this cluster to have died from the virus.
There are 19 new cases today - one more than yesterday.
New Zealand’s total number of cases is 1349.
Today our number of recovered cases is 75. Our total number of recovered cases is 546.
There are 15 people in hospital, including four in intensive care units, one of the patients is in a critical condition in Dunedin Hospital.
Testing levels have been lower over the Easter break with 1660 tests carried out nationally yesterday. Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the drop off in testing was expected over the holiday. The total number of tests is 62,827.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that even though the number of cases has continued a downwards trend, New Zealanders cannot be complacent.
We are not in a position to leave level 4 early and the decision to lift lockdown will not be taken until 20th of April, said the Prime Minister.
“Week three may feel the hardest. We’re coming around the bend but we can’t quite see the finish line,” said Jacinda Ardern. “Now is not the time to deviate.”
There are 1067 international travellers currently in managed isolation since entering the country after lockdown.
Sunday 12 April 1pm - Day 18 of lockdown - Easter Sunday
There are 18 new cases today, bringing New Zealand’s total number of cases to 1330.
This is our lowest daily case number in three weeks.
There are no additional deaths, so our total remains at four deaths.
Today our number of recovered cases is 49. Our total number of recovered cases is 471.
There are 14 people in hospital, with five of those in intensive care units, one in a critical condition.
- 40% of the cases are linked to overseas travel
- 47% are close contacts of someone else with Covid-19
- 2% are community transmission
- 11% are still under investigation
Yesterday there were 2421 tests carried out. The total number of tests is now over 61,000.
Saturday 11 April 1pm - Day 17 of lockdown
Two more people have died from Covid-19, bringing New Zealand’s death toll to four.
Both deaths were linked to Covid-19 clusters.
A man in his 80s died at Wellington Hospital yesterday. He became unwell on March 26 and was admitted to hospital on March 28.
A man in his 70s died at Burwood Hospital in Christchurch yesterday. He was one of 20 residents relocated to the hospital from Rosewood Rest Home. Yesterday’s reported death was a woman in her 90s who had also been transferred from Rosewood.
Dr Caroline McElnay, Director of Public Health said we can not rule out further serious illness or death in this group of residents due to the underlying vulnerabilities within it.
“Today’s news reinforces the importance of our move to alert level 4 and the measures we are all taking to limit spread, break the chain of transmission and prevent deaths,” said Dr McElnay.
Two new clusters in Auckland have been identified: an outbreak at Spectrum Care, a daycare facility for children with intellectual disabilities, and another cluster with 35 cases linked to a private party.
There are 29 new cases today, bringing New Zealand’s total number of cases to 1312.
Today our number of recovered cases is 49. Our total number of recovered cases is 422.
There are 15 people in hospital, with five of those in intensive care units, one in a critical condition.
- 40% of the cases are linked to overseas travel
- 46% are close contacts of someone else with Covid-19
- 2% are community transmission
- 11% are still under investigation but it’s likely many will be community transmission.
Yesterday there were 3061 tests carried out.