31 Mar 2020

Covid-19: PM provides updates on Easter trading, essential media

3:40 pm on 31 March 2020

New Zealand's supermarkets will close on Good Friday, but will be able to open on Easter Sunday, the Prime Minister has confirmed.

Jacinda Ardern has given the latest post-Cabinet media briefing as the government continues to respond to Covid-19.

Watch the latest media conference here:

Ardern said supermarket staff could make the choice not to work on Easter Sunday. They can also volunteer to work, rather than be rostered on.

She also asked shoppers to "please be kind to the people who work there".

"They are doing an incredible service to us at present and they deserve nothing but our respect at this time."

The Prime Minister also talked about the media industry in New Zealand during the lockdown, which she said was not exempt from the financial hardship caused by Covid-19

She said community newspapers will now be able to be printed for hard to reach communities.

"It is our decision that a very limited number of publications which can demonstrate they fill an un-met need, and can also show they have appropriate health and safety measures in place to minimise the transmission of Covid-19 during production and delivery, will be approved as essential."

She said the country must have ongoing access to independent media sources.

This decision only relates to smaller rural newspapers. Other publications - including printed magazines - will remain non-essential.

Ardern said newspaper delivery must be done by NZ Post or through supermarkets, not by the usual delivery people.

  • If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or call your GP - don't show up at a medical centre

Earlier, at Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield's 1pm update on the medical response to the virus, it was revealed New Zealand had another 58 new cases, bringing New Zealand's total up to 647.

Civil Defence director Sarah Stuart-Black also earlier extended the National State of Emergency, which gives the state extra powers during a crisis, for another seven days.

Read more about the Covid-19 coronavirus:

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