For the first time in nearly six weeks, there are no new coronavirus cases in New Zealand, while the Government is preparing for what life will look like at alert level 2. Get all the important news and read the full stories in the links below.
Key developments in NZ
• There are no new cases of coronavirus in New Zealand today and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says he wants to keep it that way. It is the first time in close to six weeks that testing has not uncovered a single case across a 24-hour period - but the true test will come later in the week, after the incubation period which will show if there were any new cases as a result of stepping down to alert level 3.
• • Despite the promising trend, hopes of a rapid move to level 2 are in jeopardy because of fears Kiwis have become too complacent in level 3. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that "theoretically" the country could move to level 2 as early as Wednesday next week, but health officials are concerned about the number of people being caught for level-3 breaches - and are warning that there may well be a delay to the introduction of level 2. New Zealand will learn on Thursday what level 2 will look like when the Government releases the rules, but it won't decide until Monday to move the country down a level.
Listen live to Newstalk ZB's coronavirus coverage
• Leaked emails from the police top brass show how legally exposed they felt when the country was ordered into lockdown in March. Emails from Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement to district commanders and to the now Commissioner Andy Coster show a Crown Law opinion warning the police they had little or no power to enforce the lockdown.
• The nation's hospitals have begun tackling the huge backlog of elective surgeries deferred because of Covid-19. Thousands of elective surgeries were put on hold during the five-week coronavirus lockdown, leaving countless patients suffering at home with debilitating conditions. But under level 3 guidelines, DHBs are now starting to resume elective procedures in a bid to address a huge wait list of patients that's expected to take 18 months to clear.
• Retail sales plummeted in April and the loosened lockdown restrictions haven't improved the outlook for the month ahead. Retail NZ says online retail sales are up 350 per cent under level 3, but overall sales are down by about 80 per cent on average. This follows sales in level 4 lockdown which were also down 80 per cent. Additionally, sales by Auckland's largest real estate agency dropped 49 per cent from March to April when the lockdown took its toll - and May's figures could be worse.
• Is New Zealand's economy really operating at 75 per cent in level 3? Hamish Rutherford takes a look at the claims.
Around the world
• They're images that seem alien these days – people dining out at restaurants, lazing in parks surrounded by others, going to work and dropping their kids at school, or chatting in shops. But one nation remains the stark outlier, with Sweden adopting a unique and controversial approach to dealing with the public health crisis. But, with 22,300 confirmed cases of coronavirus and a death toll of 2679, Sweden's approach hasn't been without controversy and fierce debate.
• The coronavirus has killed so many people in Iran that the country has resorted to mass burials, but in neighbouring Iraq, the body count is fewer than 100. The Dominican Republic has reported nearly 7600 cases of the virus. Just across the border, Haiti has recorded about 85. In Indonesia, thousands are believed to have died of the coronavirus. In nearby Malaysia, a strict lockdown has kept fatalities to about 100. Experts are trying to figure out why the coronavirus is so capricious – and the answers could determine how to best protect ourselves.
• The rules the Warriors must follow in their quarantine camp in Australia have emerged. Each player and staff member will have their own eating table, spread 1.5 metres apart, at the West Tamworth Leagues Club during their two-week quarantine, while training must take place in groups of 10 as they prepare for their NRL return.