New Zealand schools will at the very least have a week after the announcement level 4 is being lifted to prepare for children to reenter their gates.
Minister of Finance Grant Robertson made the announcement at today's daily coronavirus press conference. It comes three days before the nation learns its fate about whether the lockdown would be extended or dropped to alert level 3 next week.
The Prime Minister said yesterday schools would reopen under level 3 for children up to and including year 10 but attendance was voluntary.
Students would be kept in bubbles within school to help combat the spread of coronavirus.
But teachers have said there was a lack of consultation before the announcement and it will mean they will effectively become babysitters. A principal yesterday slammed the prospect of returning to school during level 3 as using "teachers and children as sacrificial lambs".
When asked if he saw teachers as babysitters, Robertson said: "We absolutely still want children to learn."
Some parents may not be able to keep their children learning at home.
"This is about making sure their children continue to get education as well."
He said that authorities were working to make sure it was safe to send children and staff back to school.
"If you think about where we are now in the best possible scenario we're still two weeks away effectively from schools reopening.
"There is now time to work through with teachers, principals, parents and students to make sure we can make this work.
"This is a situation where I believe we can make schools into a place that will be very safe for students and teachers."
It was Roberton's understanding the Ministry of Education was in discussions with teachers and principals this afternoon about reopening.
"The point of consultation is to hear from those who are at the chalkface and make sure that we structure this in such a way that it does work and it upholds the public health principles that we've got," he said.
There were two new Covid-19 deaths announced earlier today, alongside eight new confirmed or probable cases of the virus.
The total death toll for New Zealand was 11, meanwhile, there had been 1409 coronavirus cases in the country.
Creating bubbles within schools to minimise contact between people was the best way to maintain public health principles, Robertson said.
"We've got time to work this through... The overriding decision here is around public health and upholding public health," he said.
"Clearly the early childhood sector is one where we do have to work closely with those who provide the education to make sure it can be done in a safe way.
"It's the reason why, for example, in secondary schools, we're only taking people up to year 10 because it allows the schools to maintain physical distancing environments."