New Zealand moves to COVID-19 alert level 3

News 23/03/2020

Scott Palmer | Newshub

New Zealand has hit coronavirus alert level 3 and will rise to alert level 4 in 48 hours, Jacinda Ardern has announced.

This comes after the number of confirmed cases shot to 102 on Monday, with health officials warning community transmission is likely.

Speaking to New Zealand at her post-Cabinet press conference on Monday, the Prime Minister warned now is the time to act.

"Effective immediately we will lift to alert level 3 nationwide," she said. "In 48 hours it will be lifted to 4."

These measures will be in place for four weeks.

What this means for New Zealand

  • Non-essential businesses must close - pools, bars, cafes, restaurants, playgrounds.
  • In 48 hours all businesses which provide takeaway services must close their doors.
  • Schools will be closed from tomorrow except to the children of essential services such as doctors, police, ambo drivers. This will give them time to plan.
  • Schools will close entirely from midnight Wednesday
  • People must work from home so contact with others is limited
  • Public transport will begin to transition over the next 48 hours. It will remain for essential workers and transporting freight

"If after four weeks we have been successful we will be able to ease these restrictions. If not we will have to live with them for longer. If you hang out with a friend at a park, or get lunch with a family member, you risk extending these measures for the whole of NZ," Ardern said.