6 Apr 2020

Cabinet discussions underway for requirements to return to alert level 3

7:52 pm on 6 April 2020

As Covid-19 spreads around the world, it can be daunting keeping up with the information. For RNZ, our responsibility is to give you verified, up to the minute, trustworthy information to help you make decisions about your lives and your health. We'll also be asking questions of officials and decision makers about how they're responding to the virus. Our aim is to keep you informed.

The prime minister is making it clear the level four Covid-19 lockdown will go for the full four weeks.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to media during a press conference at Parliament on March 31, 2020 in Wellington, New Zealand.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo: Pool / Getty Images

Jacinda Ardern says that's the time needed to make sure the virus is under control, before any restrictions are eased.

Discussions are already underway at Cabinet about what would have to happen for New Zealand to safely return to Level Three.

But Ardern has warned that won't be before the end of the four weeks - 22 April.

Tougher quarantine rules at the border also look likely.

"I've already asked for this work to be done. This is an area where I think you'll only continue to see it ramping up," Ardern said.

"But as I've said, we've got to make sure that what we do is able to be sustained for a long period of time.''

  • 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

Ardern said "aggressive contact tracing, self isolation and border controls'' would be the new normal and the public expected that to be the case.

''I want to come up with a solution that's workable, that keeps in mind the public health needs we have, the fact we'll need to meet the needs of those who will be in that quarantine and that will be sustainable over a long peiord of time.''

Ardern said those were all factors the government was currently working on.

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It was also important to make sure there are no undetected "silent" outbreaks of Covid-19 in parts of the country, she said.

There could be a different regional approach as New Zealand moved out of Level Four, with tighter restrictions in some areas with higher infection rates.

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