The announcement of what will happen when New Zealand moves to alert level 3 shouldn't change how we behave under alert level 4.

Western Waikato Emergency Operations Centre Duty controller Andrew Loe said while the update about alert level 3 was helpful to know, it hasn't been put in place yet.

"We can't blow the halftime lead, we're still on level 4," said Loe.

"The signs are good, but we're still getting new cases every day in the Waikato. We all need to stay on the level 4 restrictions until the whistle blows on that. Then we move into the next level."


New Zealand announced a four-week lockdown would be in place as of 11.59pm Thursday, March 26 as part of alert level 4 restrictions.

Level 4 or Eliminate, is the highest of four possible alert levels to help reduce the spread of Covid-19.

The decision on when New Zealand will move out of the alert level 4 will be announced by the Prime Minister on Monday, April 20.

The initial four-week period is due to end on Thursday, April 23, however an extension to the date hasn't been ruled out.

"We're not out of the woods yet, we still need to stay home and save lives," said Loe.

New alert level 3 restrictions will be welcome news to people and businesses struggling under the current level 4 lockdown restrictions, which only allow essential services to operate.

Essential services will move to 'safe' business operations when New Zealand moves into the 'recovery room' phase, but these still have stringent guidelines.

"Under level three we are still highly restricted. No face to face transactions will be allowed, businesses can only operate under strict guidelines with online purchases and contactless delivery. It won't be open season."


Early childcare centres and schooling up to Year 10 will reopen on level 3, however attendance is voluntary. Those who are able to continue distance learning should remain at home.

"Hang in there Waikato, we'll get there soon."