Hawke's Bay leaders are backing the decision to move down to level 3 after the long weekend but have warned it doesn't mean large-scale changes will come with it.

New Zealand will move to level 3 of lockdown from 11.59pm next Monday, April 27.

Alert level 3 will be held for two weeks and then the Cabinet will assess whether to move down another level.

Level 4 had originally been scheduled to lift on Thursday this week.

Advertisement

READ MORE:
Covid 19 coronavirus: No new cases in Hawke's Bay on Sunday
Coronavirus Covid 19: Hawke's Bay leaders lukewarm at thought of lockdown lift
Coronavirus Covid 19: No further cases in Hawke's Bay on Sunday
Covid 19 coronavirus: No new cases in Hawke's Bay, but it's not time to break lockdown yet, police say

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at every point along the way the Government's decision was based on health and economic advice, and New Zealand was in the fortunate position that those were linked.

Lifting level 4 restrictions late on Monday - a public holiday to mark Anzac Day which this year falls on a Saturday - was also recommended by the Ministry of Health.

Any businesses needing to prepare to move into level 3 could be accessed, Ardern said, as could schools, to prepare for the return of pupils. April 28 will be a teachers' only day and April 29 will be the first day pupils can attend

Napier MP and Police Minister Stuart Nash said that the change of level was welcomed but warned people that "level 3 is a progression, not a rush to normality".

"If people think they're going to go back to pre-Covid levels where they're having beers with their mates, they're not. That is a way off."

He said police would remain highly visible in our communities and on our roads to maintain public safety, security and order.

"Many things will remain the same. At level 3, risk still remains, so the goal here is to restrict contact as much as possible. It is the most effective way to break the chain of transmission."

Advertisement
Napier MP and Police Minister Stuart Nash said that the change of level was welcomed but warned people that
Napier MP and Police Minister Stuart Nash said that the change of level was welcomed but warned people that "level 3 is a progression, not a rush to normality". Photo / Warren Buckland

Tukituki MP Lawrence Yule said that he backed the Government's decision and said that given the way the region has tracked recently he hoped the country could drop to level 2 quickly.

"While I understand Hawke's Bay businesses wished to reopen sooner, this is a balanced health and economic decision," he said.

"I am optimistic Hawke's Bay is well placed to move from level 3 to level 2 quickly if we have no new cases, as we have done for the past seven days."

Principals' Federation president and former Hawke's Bay principal Perry Rush backed the announcement and said that the focus now turned to ensuring rigorous health and safety plans were established.

"Parents are key to the success of the reopening of schools," he said.

"The emphasis is still on students staying home if they are able. This will significantly reduce numbers who need to attend school and enable public health requirements to be met."

Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise and Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst both backed the decision to drop a level after the long weekend and said that it was thanks to the local community that Hawke's Bay had been able to reduce its case numbers.

Business Hawke's Bay CEO Carolyn Neville welcomed the decision to move to level 3 after the long weekend.

"The additional days of lockdown give the best opportunity for successfully transitioning to very small steps forward in economic activity, with businesses relieved to have the opportunity for preparation this week."