After today's announcement that New Zealand is on Covid-19 alert level 3 - and will progress to alert level 4 on Wednesday - people across the country are figuring out the many ways it will impact their personal lives.

Among them are parents with shared custody of children who will go back and forth between households in self-isolation over the next four weeks.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield today said children in shared custody arrangements can go between parents' households as long as they live within the same community.

This means that, for example, if a child spends time with a parent in Auckland and a parent in Christchurch, it is likely that travel restrictions will see that child spending the lockdown period with one of the parents. This is to minimise the risk of Covid-19 spread.


However, if both parents live in the same city or town, then care arrangements should be able to continue as normal, as both households will be taking all the safety measures related to self-isolation.

"What we are trying to do is prevent people gathering and ensure we are breaking those opportunities for transmission," Bloomfield said.

"I think families will work out the best way to make arrangements that achieve what we are trying to achieve, which is that opportunity to break the chain of transmission."

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The Government is still ironing out the full details of what the lockdown will involve and further clarification will be made on what to expect in terms of child custody arrangements.

Schools and non-essential services across New Zealand will be closed for at least the next four weeks after the Government put the country in nationwide lockdown to try to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern acknowledged the magnitude of the measures as she announced them today, but said they could save the lives of tens of thousands of New Zealanders.

Essential services would still be open at both alert levels, she said.


"Kiwis - go home ... If in doubt, don't go out," Ardern said of level 4.

"I have a very keen sense of the magnitude of this moment in New Zealand's history and we did not take this decision lightly.

"But we all absolutely believe this is the right thing to do. If community transmission takes off in New Zealand the number of cases will double every five days.

"If that happens unchecked, our health system will be inundated, and thousands of New Zealanders will die."

The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the New Zealand has risen to 102, with 36 new cases since Sunday and two previous cases being treated as community transmission. The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website