23 Mar 2020

Your Covid-19 questions answered: What the lockdown will mean

8:23 pm on 23 March 2020

As the country prepares to go into lockdown in the next 48 hours, RNZ endeavours to answer questions around essential services, self-isolation, travel and what the rest of the week might start to look like.

There are now 102 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand.

Portrait of three teen friends playing lego together

Photo: 123rf

Checkpoint reporter Nita Blake-Persen has sourced these answers from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's address this afternoon and from various government websites.

Hey RNZ, you mentioned that citizens/residents flying home must now self isolate in the city they land in. Most flights are coming into Auckland, including that of a family member who gets home tomorrow night. Does this self-isolation rule come into effect immediately? Eg my family member will need to self isolate in Auckland?

If you are arriving in New Zealand now, you need to get straight to where you are self-isolating, preferably in a private car.

If people have to fly from Auckland to other parts of the country they will have till 11.59pm on Wednesday night to do so. Physical distancing will be required on domestic flights.

Further policy advice on this is being developed on this and will be considered tomorrow, so there are likely to be further directives.

Will NZ Post keep delivering mail? Will Studylink keep paying student allowance and accommodation payments even if students have returned home while campuses are closed but they still have to pay rent etc on their flat? Thank you.

Yes, as an essential service, NZ Post will deliver mail. Also, courier drivers will continue deliveries.

Studylink's website states: 'You will continue to be paid if your provider can't deliver your course on campus or from home temporarily but you do expect to return to study in the near future.'

Hi there. Is there anything about dairies staying open? Are they meant to shut for the four-week period? Cheers

Seeking clarity on dairies staying open. Supermarkets are an absolute yes, food and beverage production are a yes, this would depend on the area they catered for and the size of the business. Likely a yes if they are providing food to small communities.

Can taxi and rideshare drivers work after lockdown?

Taxi drivers and rideshare services are considered essential services so they will continue.

What about rubbish and recycling collection please?

Rubbish and recycling will continue because it classified as an essential service.

Can vets stay open?

Yes - they are considered an essential service.

Read more about the Covid-19 coronavirus:

My wife is stuck in Nelson with her car. Her home and family is in Wellington but there are no tickets on the ferry for the next five or six days. Will they let her travel to Wellington next week if that is the first date she can get a ferry ticket?

Physical contact has to cease immediately. Unfortunately, that means people who cannot get home in the next 48 hours will need to self-isolate where they are.

This person should consider getting on a plane and flying back to Wellington if they can.

In level 4 are we able to pack up from home and drive to the beach house for a change of scene or do we need to head there tomorrow and stay there for the four weeks?

Yes they can [travel to their baches] but they need to travel today (25 March), and complete their journey by 11.59pm, a Covid-19 national response person said. Once there, they will need to remain at that location, and not travel back and forth between their home and bach until the alert level changes. Any breach of these rules will mean we have to stay in lockdown for longer and our chance to beat the virus will be lost.

I have a friend who is a gardener and she is wondering if she will still be able to work as she works alone and rarely sees anyone. She lives in a house with two other people. Should she stop working?

At level 4 only essential services may continue, so this person will be required to stay at home. They will be able to get a wage subsidy if they are a business or sole trader.

  • Govt response to Covid-19: 'These are restrictions to save lives'
  • Supermarkets urge people to stop panic buying
  • All of New Zealand must prepare to go in self-isolation now - Prime Minister
  • 'No room for ignorance': Over 70s urged to stay home
  • Coronavirus: A glossary of terms