- Fourstage Alert System for COVID-19 announced
- NewZealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact
- NewZealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay athome as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus
- Workplacesto implement plans to reduce person-to-person contact, including work from homewhere possible
- Limit allnon-essential domestic travel
New Zealand has been moved up toCOVID-19 Alert Level 2, Reduce Contact, in an escalation of efforts to reducethe spread of the virus in New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announcedtoday.
“Protecting New Zealanders fromthe virus is our number one objective, and we must take decisive action toprevent the worst occurring here,” Jacinda Ardern said.
“New Zealand is fighting anunprecedented global pandemic. We must fight by going hard and going early withnew measures to slow the transmission of the virus.
“Today I am announcing a fourstage COVID-19 Alert Level system, with escalating restrictions on humancontact, travel and business operations.
“The international situation ischanging rapidly and we need to clearly sign-post the changes New Zealanderswill be asked to make as we step up our efforts to limit the spread of thevirus. The alert system means people can see and plan for the kinds ofrestrictions we may be required to put in place, which may be required rapidly.
“Based on expert medical adviceand international evidence I am moving New Zealand to Alert Level 2, ReduceContact. This will have a significant disruption on how we go about our dailylives, but it is necessary to protect lives.
“People over 70 years of age, orpeople who are immunocompromised or have certain pre-existing conditions, needto stay at home as much as they can from now on.
“I’m asking everyone to supportour older New Zealanders by doing things like keeping in contact with them anddropping off food or other supplies.
“I am also asking businesses andworkplaces to play their part. Many workplaces already have plans for staff towork from home or to distance themselves in the workplace. We are now askingyou to put those plans in place.
“Health and emergencyprofessionals, transport and delivery staff, supermarket and food productionworkers, and other essential people will be continuing on at their place ofwork at this alert level.
“It’s also important to note thatat every alert level supermarkets around New Zealand will remain open.
“We are also asking NewZealanders to limit all non-essential domestic travel. We need people tosignificantly reduce the number of interactions they have at this time and thatincludes visiting people in different parts of the country for non-essential reasons.
“These measures are being takenin the national interest. We know people, business, and sports events will beimpacted, but these are short-term disruptions for the overall health of ourpeople and country.
“I know many New Zealanders areanxious. The alert system is designed to offer certainty around future actionand the ability for people to plan and prepare for any future eventuality.Please be strong, be kind, and unite against COVID-19,” Jacinda Ardern said.
Further details available at www.covid19.govt.nz