8 Jun 2020

Covid-19: Alert level 1 decision today

6:20 am on 8 June 2020

Cabinet will decide today whether to make the move to alert level 1.

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Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rilstone

It comes as New Zealand marks its 16th day in a row without any new cases.

National Party leader Todd Muller said given the government's own criteria of 28 days without community transmission there can be no justification for remaining in level 2.

"Every day the government waits to make this shift is another day that businesses sink deeper into debt and the economic crisis in this country worsens," he said last week.

He said businesses are haemorrhaging, and every day stuck at level 2 is another blow.

The consideration to move to level 1 has been brought forward, following better than expected case numbers - and calls from Labour's coalition partner New Zealand First.

*See all RNZ coverage of Covid-19

Finance Minister Grant Robertson has said he is as "keen as anyone" to move to level 1 - but Cabinet's decision will be informed by the latest advice.

Under alert level 1 there will still be strict controls on the border, but all current rules and restrictions on businesses and services will be "essentially lifted", Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said.

Physical distancing measures will be "encouraged" rather than required under alert level 1 and gatherings of any size will be able to take place.

However, people must still adhere to public health measures such as hand washing, staying at home if sick and getting tested for Covid-19 if they show any cold or flu symptoms.

Intensive testing for Covid-19 would continue to take place and contact tracing efforts would remain.

Dependant on Cabinet's decision Wednesday is the earliest that a move to alert level 1 would go ahead.

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