Check in here for the key, verified facts on how New Zealand is dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

1:00pm Sunday 10 May - day 13 at alert level 3

Today there are two new confirmed cases of Covid-19.

One is a person who has returned from overseas travel, and the other is linked to the St Margaret’s rest home cluster in Auckland.

The total number of cases is now 1494.  

1144 of these are confirmed cases, which is the number that we report to the World Health Organisation, and the rest (350) are probable. 

There are no new deaths.

1371 people have recovered, which is 92% of cases. 

There are two people in hospital, neither of them in intensive care.

Yesterday there were 7287 tests completed. There have been 190,326 tests done in total.

The Ministry of Health says New Zealanders need to keep their distance while out at beaches and parks this weekend, and remember that we are still at alert level 3.

 RECOVERED CASES 10 may

NEW CASES 10 MAYHEALTH UPDATE 10 mayMAP UPDATE 10 MAYMAP UPDATE ACTIVE CASES 10 may

1:00pm Saturday 9 May - day 12 at alert level 3

Today there are two new cases of Covid-19, one probable and one confirmed. 

Both new cases are linked to the St Margaret’s rest home cluster in Auckland. The probable case is a DHB nurse who had been looking after St Margaret’s patients at Waitakere Hospital. One of yesterday’s new cases was also a nurse who had cared for patients in this cluster. 

The Ministry of Health said in a statement that “affected areas at Waitakere Hospital remain closed to further admissions and multiple precautions have been in place over the last week.

The DHB confirms it has enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in stock and is ensuring all relevant staff are trained in using it in line with national guidance. 

The total number of cases is now 1492.  

1142 of these are confirmed cases, which is the number that we report to the World Health Organisation, and the rest (350) are probable. 

There are no new deaths.

1,368 people have recovered, which is 92% of cases. 

There are two people in hospital, neither of them in intensive care.

Yesterday there were 7,204 tests completed. There have been 183,039 tests done in total.

The Ministry of Health is reminding everyone to play by alert level 3 rules to prevent a second wave: 

  • Keep working and learning from home
  • Keep your distance from others outside your bubble
  • Remain local
  • No parties

Cabinet will make a decision on moving to alert level 2 on Monday.

1:00pm Friday 8 May - day eleven at alert level 3

Today there are two new cases of Covid-19.

One is a DHB nurse who had been looking after patients associated with the St Margarets rest home cluster in Auckland.

The other is a case that was previously considered probable, and now is confirmed.

This means the total number of cases is now 1490.  

1141 of these are confirmed cases, which is the number that we report to the World Health Organisation, and the rest (349) are probable. 

There are no new deaths.

1347 people have recovered, which is 90% of cases. 

There are three people in hospital, none of them in intensive care.

Yesterday there were 7812 tests completed. There have been 175,835 tests done in total. 3.5% of the population has now been tested, which puts us in the top 20 countries in the world for testing rates.

The Finance Minister Grant Robertson says 40,000 people have gone on jobseeker support payments, which is 0.8% of our total population.

He compared this to the U.S. where 10% of their population have gone on jobseeker benefits.

4,718 of the New Zealanders who have gone on jobseeker benefits are people who have returned from overseas, which is ten times the amount from last year.

 

1:00pm Thursday 7 May - day ten at alert level 3

Today there is one new case of Covid-19.

This means the total number of cases is now 1489 .  

1339 of these are confirmed cases, which is the number that we report to the World Health Organisation, and the rest are probable.

1332 people have recovered, which is 89% of cases. 

There are two people in hospital, none of them in intensive care.

Yesterday there were 7323 tests completed. There have been 168,023 tests done in total.

Next Monday, the Prime Minister will say whether we will move to alert level 2.

Today she has revealed details of what life at level 2 will look like.

“At level 2 the aim is still to reduce close contact with strangers. It acknowledges that the virus is still probably with us so we do need to behave different to prevent it taking off again.”

She says it is “very unlikely we have hunted down every single case of Covid-19”. 

“If stray cases start new chains of transmission, we might not find them for a  month, so we all have to stay on guard.”

She says the principle of level 2 is “play it safe”.

Health

If you are even slightly sick, stay home. If you even just have a runny nose or a sore throat, get a test. Wash your hands “all of the time”. Wash keys and door handles, and don't pass people your phone.

Borders

Borders will remain closed to everyone except New Zealanders. Any New Zealanders who enter the country will be placed in isolation for 14 days.

Bubbles

You no longer need to stick to your bubble.

You can have friends and family over to your home but keep the numbers small. “This is not the time for a large party or function at your home,” says the Prime Minister.

Physical distancing

Keep 2 metres from strangers. In places where contact tracing can easily happen, like workplaces, it can be less than 2m. 

Business 

On-site business and services at people’s homes can restart.

Hairdressers, retail stores, cafes, restaurants and hospitality can reopen but “must play it safe”. This means:

  • Physical distancing in store.
  • Hairdressers and beauticians need to wear PPE, because it is “virtually impossible to do this job without being in close contact with clients.”
  • Contact tracing. A nationwide tech solution to help businesses contact trace those who come onto their premises is being developed. In the meantime, businesses need to keep records of who comes on-site.

Hospitality businesses can only reopen if they can apply the 3 S rule:

    • Seated: people must be seated, so you can only have as many people in your venue as you can safely seat. 
    • Separated: there must be social distancing between tables.
    • Single server: there must be table service, not going up to counters.

The Prime Minister says it is easier to maintain physical distancing and contact tracing if people are seated. “Congested bars have already produced a massive cluster in New Zealand and we must avoid another.”

Businesses also need to manage any people waiting outside their business with lines that have appropriate social distancing. If they do not safely manage lines outside their business they can be shut down.

“Covid loves congregations,” says the Prime Minister. “Crowds of strangers with no physical distancing and no ability to tell who you are standing near is very very difficult.”

Gatherings

Indoor and outdoor gatherings will be limited to a maximum of 100. 

Previously it had been said that level 2 would allow for outdoor gatherings of up to 500. 

However the Prime Minister says the number was lowered because “big events lead to risk, and that risk can mean big clusters.”

Weddings, music events, religious services and funerals can be held but with a 100-person limit.

Public venues like museums and markets will also be allowed to open but also with the distance and hygiene limits.

Travel

Travel around the country is allowed but must be done safely, with physical distance at airports and on public transport.

“I know this change will mean a lot to our tourism industry,” says the Prime Minister.

Recreation and sport

Playgrounds, gyms, public pools and courts will open, and all water activities can start.

Some community sports will be able to return to play more quickly than others while health requirements are worked through.

Domestic professional sport will be able to start, but the rules around mass gatherings will apply, so no crowds of over 100 people.

Education

Early learning centres, schools and tertiary education can open.

“With so few cases in New Zealand, it is safe for children to return to school,” says the Prime Minister. Distance learning will be available for those who need to stay home, like kids who are sick.

If an institution has a probable case it will need to close for 72 hours for contact tracing, and potentially remain closed for another 14 days.

When a decision about whether we move to alert level 2 is made, schools will reopen at the beginning of the following week. So, if the announcement comes next Monday, school won’t open till the Monday after. 

We will find out next Monday whether we will move to level 2. “We’re not moving there yet, this is just the framework”, says the Prime Minister.

“Level 2 is our safer normal, not a return to business as usual”. 

“If we think of ourselves as halfway down Everest, I think it's clear that no one wants to hike back up that peak. The descent is even more dangerous, so we need to proceed with caution, with the highest degree of confidence.”

 

1:00pm Wednesday 6 May - day nine at alert level 3

A woman in her 60s has died. She was part of the Rosewood Rest Home cluster in Christchurch. That brings the total number of deaths in New Zealand to 21.

Today there are 2 new cases of Covid-19.

This means the total number of cases is now 1488.  

1138 of these are confirmed cases, which is the number that we report to the World Health Organisation, and the rest are probable.

88% of cases are now recovered. 

There are two people in hospital, none of them in intensive care.

Yesterday there were 4772 tests completed. There have been 160,700 tests done in total.

 

1:00pm Tuesday 5 May - day eight at alert level 3

Today there are again no new cases of Covid-19.

One case that was previously considered a probable case is now been confirmed as not a case. 

This means the total number of cases has gone down by one, and is now 1486.  

1137 of these are confirmed cases, which is the number that we report to the World Health Organisation, and the rest are probable.

There are no new deaths.

Our total number of recovered cases is now 1302. 88% of cases are now recovered. 

There are 4 people in hospital, none of them in intensive care.

Yesterday there were 3332 tests completed. There have been 155,928 tests done in total. 

“Obviously having zero new cases of Covid-19 to report for a second day in a row is very encouraging,” says Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. “All New Zealanders should feel pleased with their efforts, I certainly do, and what we have achieved together over the last weeks.”

However he says we need to stick to the plan. “The worst thing we could do now is celebrate success early before the final whistle blows and jeopardise the gains we have made.” 

“Stay the course, stay in your bubble and don't squander what we have achieved by giving the virus a chance that it will only too readily accept.”

The Prime Minister has met with the Australian Federal Cabinet to discuss how our two countries can work together.

The last time a New Zealand Prime Minister attended an Australian National Cabinet meeting was in the 1940s.

New Zealanders and Australians travel to each others’ countries more than anywhere else. There are half a million New Zealanders in Australia, and 75,000 Australians living here.

“We both stand to benefit from getting travel up and running again,” says the Prime Minister.

 

1:00pm Monday 4 May - day seven at alert level 3

We have reached a milestone - today there are no new cases of Covid-19.

There are no new deaths.

This means the total number of cases in New Zealand is 1487. 1137 of these are confirmed cases, which is the number that we report to the World Health Organisation, and the rest are probable.

One probable case that was already known about has been reclassified as confirmed.

10 people have recovered, bringing our total number of recovered cases to 1276. 86% of cases are now recovered. 

There are 7 people in hospital, none of them in intensive care.

Yesterday there were 2473  tests completed. There have been 152,696  tests done in total. 

Three of our 16 significant clusters are considered closed. A cluster is closed when 28 days have passed without a new infection.

“Clearly these are encouraging figures today but it is just one moment in time,” says Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. He says the real test will come later this week, when any cases that might have sprung up because of our move to alert level 3 will show up. The virus’ incubation period (the amount of time it takes between infection and symptoms starting to show) is around six days.

Dr Bloomfield says the weekend showed it’s “easy to slacken off”, but “we cannot afford to squander all the hard work and efforts of the last weeks.”

 

1:00pm Sunday 3 May - day six at alert level 3

Today there are 2 new cases. Both are linked to a known source.

There are no new deaths.

This means the total number of cases in New Zealand is 1,487. 1,136 of these are confirmed cases, which is the number that we report to the World Health Organisation, and the rest are probable.

3 people have recovered, bringing our total number of recovered cases to 1266 . Around 85% of cases are now recovered. 

There are 8 people in hospital, none of them in intensive care.

Yesterday there were 4634 tests completed. There have been 150,223 tests done in total. 

Three of our 16 significant clusters are now considered closed. A cluster is closed when 28 days have passed without a new infection.

NEW CASES 3 may HEALTH UPDATE 3 mayMAP UPDATE 3 mayRECOVERED CASES 3 MAY

1:00pm Saturday 2 May - day five at alert level 3

Today there are 6 new cases - two confirmed and four probable.

This means the total number of cases in New Zealand is 1485. 1134 of these are confirmed cases, which is the number that we report to the World Health Organisation, and the rest (351) are probable.

Five of today’s new cases are linked to a known source. One is under investigation. 

A man has died, bringing the total number of deaths to 20. George Hollings, aged in his 80s, was a resident at Rosewood Rest Home in Christchurch. 

His family asked the Ministry of Health to make his name public. 

"George had a lot of friends who the family don’t have contact details for and they’d like for them to have the opportunity to grieve along with his family," said the ministry. "His family tell us that George will be remembered as a real Kiwi bloke, a rough diamond, who loved his deer stalking."

There are 5 people in hospital, one fewer than yesterday. 

11 people have recovered, bringing our total number of recovered cases to 1263. Around 85% of cases are now recovered. 

Three clusters are now considered closed - a Wellington wedding and two clusters linked to US travel (one in Wellington and one in Auckland). A cluster is closed when two incubation periods (28 days) have passed since the most recent reported case. 

Yesterday there were 5691 tests completed. There have been 145,589 tests done in total.

1:00pm Friday 1 May - day four at alert level 3

Today there are 3 new cases.

This means the total number of cases in New Zealand is 1479. 1132 of these are confirmed cases, which is the number that we report to the World Health Organisation, and the rest (347) are probable.

There are no new deaths. 

There are 6 people in hospital, with none in intensive care. 

11 people have recovered, bringing our total number of recovered cases to 1252. Around 85% of cases are now recovered. 

Yesterday there were 5328 tests completed. There have been 139,898 tests done in total.

In the last 24 hours there have been 96 breaches of the Health Act, 31 people have been prosecuted and 61 warnings given.

There has been an increase in reports of house parties, and the Finance Minister Grant Robertson says he has two clear messages for anyone considering a party this weekend.

“First, cancel your plans now. Secondly, be aware that the police will be taking a dim view of this activity.”

Events like parties have been at the centre of some of our clusters, like the Matamata cluster that began from a St Patrick's Day party at a bar and has so far led to 76 cases.

“Any uptick in cases as a result of parties will mean we need to stay at level 3 longer, so please don’t be an idiot, stick to your bubble and everyone will be better off.”

The Winter Energy Payment for low-income and elderly households has been doubled. This year it will be $1400 for couples, and $900 for a single person. 

“At a time when we’re asking people to stay at home in their bubbles and keep well, our role is to provide support for our most vulnerable to stay warm and healthy and reduce any unnecessary burden on health services,” the Finance Minister says.

 

1:00pm Thursday 30 April - day three at alert level 3

Today there are 3 new cases.

A case that was considered probable has been reclassified as not a case.

This means the total number of cases in New Zealand is 1476. 1129 of these are confirmed cases, which is the number that we report to the World Health Organisation, and the rest (347) are probable.

There are no new deaths. 

There are 7 people in hospital, with none in intensive care. 

12 people have recovered, bringing our total number of recovered cases to 1241. Around 84% of cases are now recovered. 

Yesterday there were 5867 tests completed. There have been 134,570 tests done in total.

At level 3, routine healthcare like cervical screening tests and child immunisations are up and running. So any reminders you’re getting about these appointments aren’t an error.

“It's very important not to delay essential parts of keeping well,” says Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

It’s been clarified that at alert level 3 people can travel to care for their pets or other animals, so vet services are permitted. Hunting of game birds isn’t permitted during alert level 3.

75% of the economy is now operating, says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Even though we can now enjoy takeaways, “it is vital that we keep our physical distancing and stay home if there is no proper reason to be outdoors,” says the Prime Minister.

As of 5.30pm yesterday 1035 complaints had been made about breaches of alert level 3.  104 of those have resulted in action being taken by either police, MBIE or MBI.

The complaints related to a lack of social distancing, business breaches, safe cafe operating practices, in-home gatherings and recreational activities.

In the last 24 hours, there have been 21 prosecutions and 48 warnings given.

“Please continue to act like you have the virus when you are out and about. If you see breaches please report them, the last thing we can afford is a  spike in cases due to taking our foot off the pedal,” says the Prime Minister.

Around 2% of school children year 1-10 attended yesterday and around 4% of ECE.

Tax changes for small business will be urgently passed by parliament, bringing more than $3 billion of tax relief.

 

1:00pm Wednesday 29 April - day 2 at alert level 3

Today there are 2 new cases.

The total number of cases in New Zealand is 1474. 1126 of these are confirmed cases, which is the number that we report to the World Health Organisation, and the rest (348) are probable.

A previous probable case has now been updated to be a confirmed case.

There are no new deaths. 

There are six people in hospital, with none in intensive care. 

15 people have recovered, bringing our total number of recovered cases to 1229. Around 83% of cases are now recovered. 

Yesterday there were 2637 tests completed. There have been 128,073 tests done in total. 

Despite the Prime Minister saying Monday was the last day we would see the joint 1pm press conference with herself and Dr Ashley Bloomfield, it’s been decided they will continue to deliver a joint press conference for the rest of alert level 3.

The Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says it’s crucial we stay vigilant.

He says businesses need to ensure customers can maintain physical distancing while waiting to pick up contactless orders. “We did see some pictures of quite large groups congregating outside of one or two places.”

“It only takes one person to potentially affect many,” says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Police recorded 104 breaches in the first 18 hours of alert level 3. 21 people were prosecuted and 71 warnings were issued.

742 complaints of businesses not complying to level 3 rules were made, most of them related to a lack of social distancing.

“While our preference is to educate and engage with businesses to ensure they are operating within the rules, we will not hesitate to take firmer measures if required,” says the Prime Minister.

11,846 children are attending school today (around 1% of school-aged children).

7713 children are at early learning centres (around 4%).

The Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has revealed that before lockdown, the Ministry of Health advised the government to totally close borders including to New Zealand citizens overseas who wanted to return home. The government did not accept this advice and decided to allow New Zealanders to return home.

“We did not consider that it would ever be okay to stop New Zealanders coming home. You will struggle to find countries in the world that would make a move like that,” says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

 

1:30pm Tuesday 28 April - our first day at alert level 3

“At alert level 3 we are not out of the woods,” says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

There are potentially “smouldering ashes” of cases that can turn into a wildfire.

We need to be even more vigilant at level 3, she says. Stay home where possible for work and education, stay regional and contact your GP if you feel unwell.

Level 3 is a move to get our economy going again. 400,000 more New Zealanders will be back at work, total of around 1 million.

Around 75% of the economy is operating with construction, forestry and contactless retail starting up today. Major infrastructure projects like road and rail are starting, like the City Rail Link in Auckland and Transmission Gully in Wellington.

The government has announced new initiatives to combat unemployment in the wake of Covid-19.

The ‘Keep NZ working’ initiatives will be delivered through the Ministry for Social Development, and includes:

  • An online job platform that connects job seekers to employers, along with training courses, accessible through the Work and Income website.
  • 35 new employment centres throughout the country. At level 3 these centres will provide services over the phone, and at level 2 they will begin face-to-face appointments.

“Unemployment will rise before it improves,” says Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni.

$10.46 billion in wage subsidies has been paid out so far to keep nearly 1.7 million New Zealanders in work.

 

1:00pm Tuesday 28 April - our first day at alert level 3

Today there are 3 new cases.

The total number of cases in New Zealand is 1472. 1124 of these are confirmed cases, which is the number that we report to the World Health Organisation, and the rest are probable.

There are no new deaths. 

There are 9 people in hospital, including one in intensive care. 

34 people have recovered, bringing our total number of recovered cases to 1214. Around 82% of cases are now recovered. The definition for a recovered case is someone who is symptom-free for at least 48 hours, at least 10 days since the onset of symptoms.

Yesterday there were 2146 tests completed. There have been 126,066 tests done in total.

The Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says it’s crucial that all New Zealanders remain vigilant and keep physical distancing during level 3.

“Elimination is not a point in time, it is a sustained effort to keep it out and stamp it out over many months.”

He says like many New Zealanders on their first day back at work today, he enjoyed a takeaway coffee, but he reminds us it's important not to congregate outside takeaway venues. “Please do maintain the physical distancing, we do not want to see the sorts of rebound that we have seen in other countries.”