The Warehouse Group is paying its 12,000 staff members in full after they were stood down due to the enforced coronavirus lockdown in New Zealand.

The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery, Torpedo7, Noel Leeming, 1-day and TheMarket are all brands of The Warehouse Group (TWG).

New Zealand will enter nationwide lockdown at 11.59pm to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, of which there are now 205 confirmed and probable cases.

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Thousands would be left without work after the Government deemed the TWG brands are not essential services which can remain open during the lockdown.

However, the company would not leave its employees in the lurch, a spokesperson confirmed all would be paid in full for the full four-week period.

While it was good news for employees, their employer faced a fine of up to $500,000 if it was deemed to have breached NZX continued disclosure rules.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield, meanwhile, announced there were 50 more confirmed Covid-19 cases in New Zealand earlier today.

Six people are in hospital in a stable condition, one in Rotorua, two in Waikato and three in Wellington. Three were discharged from hospitals yesterday.

A state of emergency was subsequently declared, handing emergency powers to authorities to enforce the nationwide lockdown from midnight tonight.

Only essential services would remain open during the four-week lockdown, such as supermarkets, the media, doctors and pharmacies.

Earlier today, Government officials announced alongside The Warehouse, most liquor stores throughout the country would be forced to close.

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MBIE Deputy Chief Executive Paul Stocks said ministers met on Tuesday night to clarify what essential services would remain open during the lockdown.

New Zealand will enter alert level 4 at 11.59pm tonight in an effort to "stop the virus in its tracks", he said.

"That's why we need as many businesses as possible to close their premises now if our one shot at beating the virus is to be successful.

"Only the businesses absolutely essential to ensure the necessities of life, like supermarkets and pharmacies, can stay open.

"If in doubt, the business premises should be closed."