Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

New Zealand prepares to go into self-isolation

New Zealand’s Covid-19 Alert Level has risen to Level Three and will lift to Level Four in 48 hours, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.

“Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But through decisive action and by working together, we do have a small window to get ahead of it,” said Ardern.

Alert Level Three, effective immediately, means public venues and non-essential businesses must now close.

Alert Level Four means we eliminate contact with each other altogether.

“In short, we are all now preparing as a nation to go into self-isolation,” said Ardern.

Essential services including supermarkets, doctors, pharmacies, service stations and access to essential banking services will be available throughout New Zealand at every alert level.

Schools will close from tomorrow except to the children of essential workers. Schools will close entirely from midnight on Wednesday, and the school term will be brought forward.

On Saturday the Prime Minister announced a Covid-19 alert level system and placed New Zealand at alert Level Two. The change comes after 36 new cases were confirmed today by Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield, raising the total confirmed cases in the country to 102.

The Director-General of Health and the Prime Minister both confirmed there are two cases in New Zealand where public health officials have been unable to find how they came in contact with Covid-19, meaning there is now community transmission.

“Right now we have a window of opportunity to break the chain of community transmission to contain the virus, to stop it multiplying and to protect New Zealanders from the worst. Our plan is simple – we can stop the spread by staying at home and reducing contact. Now is the time to act.”

The measures of Alert Level 4 will last for four weeks in a nationwide effort to stamp out community transmission.

“If we after those four weeks we have been successful, I hope then we will be able to ease these restrictions.”

“Today, get your neighbour’s phone number, set up a community group chat, get your gear to work from home, cancel social gatherings of any size or shape, prepare to walk around the block while keeping a two-metre distance between you.

“If in doubt, don’t go out.”

Finance Minister Grant Robertson assured all New Zealanders would receive some form of income during this period.

This morning Cabinet agreed to expand the wage subsidy scheme from $5.1 billion to $9.3 billion and remove the $150,000 cap, meaning all businesses, self-employed people and contractors will be eligible.

The Finance Minister also announced a freeze in rent increases, and a business financing guarantee scheme and support for mortgage holders, with details to be announced in the coming couple of days.

Watch the live press conference from the PM above.

For full Covid-19 information visit covid19.govt.nz



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