New Zealand will move to alert level 2 at 11.59pm on Wednesday - but a staggered move means not all businesses will immediately be back up and running come Thursday. Get all the important news and read the full stories in the links below.
Key developments in NZ
• New Zealand will move to alert level 2 at 11.59pm on Wednesday. On Thursday, retail stores, malls, cafes, restaurants, cinemas and other public spaces can reopen, but schools resume next Monday and bars must wait 10 days. All require physical distancing, while health services will also restart. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern did not think level 2 would "necessarily" be in place for longer than level 3, but it depended on factors such as the number of new Covid-19 cases, after just three new cases were confirmed today. Border restrictions would remain for a long time, as would the expectation of the public observing hand hygiene practices.
• Life at level 2 means we can resume many of our favourite pastimes and see our friends again. You can expect the doors of some shuttered businesses to open — but life as we know it will take on a new normal. Here is all you need to know about what life will be like at level 2.
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• Medical experts say now is time to "get on with it" and clear the backlog of tens of thousands of surgeries put off under lockdown as the country moves to level 2. Urgent and semi-urgent elective surgeries resumed under level 3 and more of these, including non-acute cases, are likely to be carried out at both private and public hospitals during level 2. Like level 3 and 4, primary care consultations should be done over the phone or via video call if possible.
• A woman who tested positive for Covid-19 had been in an Auckland jail for 10 days after refusing to be examined when she arrived from the United States. The woman in her 20s agreed to be tested when she appeared in court last Friday. She was bailed out after it was confirmed she had been tested but before the result was known. During her time at Auckland Women's Prison, the woman was quarantined and had no contact with other prisoners.
• Thousands of New Zealand office workers will be able to leave their homes and return to work at level 2, but with restrictions on corridors, bathrooms, lifts, kitchens, meeting areas, reception, desks, shared spaces and equipment, as office life significantly changes.
• This week the Herald will share the stories of Kiwi businesses that have been forced to adapt in a post-Covid 19 world - shining a light on all the incredible work being done to help our country recover.
• All eyes will be on Finance Minister Grant Robertson on Thursday as he unveils the Budget. National's finance spokesman Paul Goldsmith has written about his worry of an ill-directed, big spending Budget, and outlines what he'd be doing if he were Finance Minister.
Around the world
• Like many world leaders, Taiwan's vice president Chen Chien-jen is fighting to keep the coronavirus at bay and to predict the course of the pandemic. But unlike most officials, Chen has spent his career preparing for this moment — he is a Johns Hopkins-trained epidemiologist and an expert in viruses - and Taiwan has earned praise for its response.
• An infectious outbreak can conclude in more ways than one, historians say. But for whom does it end, and who gets to decide? Here is how previous pandemics have ended.
• New Zealand Rugby has confirmed that Super Rugby Aotearoa will start on June 13. The competition will see the five Kiwi Super Rugby clubs playing each other at home and away over 10 weeks, with two matches every weekend, at 5.05pm on Saturdays and 3.05pm on Sundays. Matches will be played in closed stadiums until the Government advises an approach to managing mass gatherings in controlled venues that will allow fans to return. The domestic Mitre 10 Cup will start on September 11.