People should only use their car for supermarket shopping and to visit a doctor during the coronavirus lockdown, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.

Ardern also had a message to anyone who socialised outside their self-isolation bubble: "Stop you are putting people's lives at risk".

She said young people need to make sure they are not a chain of transmission – she pleaded with young people ignoring the rules to stop putting people's lives at risk.

Kiwis flocked to Mount Maunganui yesterday on the first day of the coronavirus lockdown. The PM today urged people also not to congregate in public areas. Photo / supplied
Kiwis flocked to Mount Maunganui yesterday on the first day of the coronavirus lockdown. The PM today urged people also not to congregate in public areas. Photo / supplied

She again pleaded with people to "stay local".

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Whenever people have to use their car, they should try and stay local too, she said.

"Stay local, and stay apart."

"I do not want to see the scene of Bondi beach in New Zealand," she said.

She urged people also not to congregate in public areas.

Australian PM lashes out at beachgoers: What happened at Bondi beach was 'not okay’. Video / 7 News / Sky News

Asked about shops that are still open, despite the lockdown, Ardern again asked reporters to provide her with the details of the businesses that are breaking the rules.

She said the police are looking to "beef up" their patrols of areas where rules may be broken.

Kiwis in Australia

Ardern said Kiwis in Australia continue to be excluded from Covid-19 subsidies in Australia.

Ardern said its an issue that she will continue to raise, given Australians here are getting New Zealand Government subsidies.

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"Look after your employees," was Ardern's message to bosses and employers across the country.

Wage subsidy scheme

The wage subsidy scheme the Government launched to help coronavirus-hit workers could cost as much as $12 billion.

"The pandemic has moved fast," Finance Minister Grant Robertson said this afternoon.

He said the Government will make further moves to cushion the impact from businesses.

This includes the current sick leave scheme being folded into the wage subsidy scheme to prevent "double-dipping".

Employers are still expected to pay their workers 80 per cent – but all employees now must receive the full value of the subsidy, Robertson said.

The Government is also requiring employers to keep employees on their books for the entire wage subsidy period.

The scheme will now cost as much as $12 billion

The Government does not yet have projections as to how much Government debt will increase as a result of the increased spending to cushion the impact of Covid-19.

The scheme is being run in a "high trust model".

Firms that have received the subsidy will soon be published, Robertson said.

So far, $2.7 billion has been paid out to 428,000 workers.

Close to 58,700 of those payments were to self-employed people.

Robertson also told employers they needed to pass on the money from the wage subsidy – they could face consequences if they did not.

"Everyone who is shut down is eligible for this scheme," she said.

Robertson said "most" employers who have applied for the scheme have done so in good faith.

But "one or two" have been problematic, he said.

He said not too many businesses were double dipping, when it comes to the sick leave and the wage subsidy.

Robertson reiterated that New Zealand was "clearly in challenging times".

He encouraged landlords to act within the best interest of all of New Zealand.

Border still the big risk

Ardern said the border still presents the biggest risk to New Zealand.

She said the border is an "on-going risk" that the Government needed to manage.

Ardern said the Government continues to advise people against long term travel – "stay home, and stay local".

Asked when the Government would release its official modelling, Ardern said they would be released.

But the modelling they are using is being used elsewhere in the public.

She said she would release the modelling proactively soon.

Ardern said there have been on average 1479 Covid-19 tests a day.

Ardern's message to anyone who socialised outside their bubble, that they must stop as they are putting people's lives at risk.

She said young people need to make sure they are not a chain of transmission – she pleaded with young people ignoring the rules to stop putting people's lives at risk.

4 million more masks for health workers

Ardern says over the past few days, the Government has been talking about personal protection equipment (PPE) for front line medical staff.

DHB's hold 5.1 million masks, she said.

There is a reserve of 18 million masks.

Her comments come after some nurses have threatened to stop working, fearing a lack of equipment will expose them to the Covid-19 coronavirus.

Four million masks will be provided to the health sector, Ardern said.

A further four million would be made available for non-health workers too, Ardern said.

The Ministry of Health is compiling a list as to who gets priority for the masks.

She said there is still work to be done when it comes to the distribution of PPEs.

Ardern again said more Covid-19 cases are expected – they will continue to rise for at least 10 days or more.

She is expecting the rises before then to be "steep".

But she urged Kiwis to follow the rules, or that 10 days might extend out further.

"Please stay home, break the chain and save lives," Ardern said.

She thanked New Zealand's medical lab scientists who process Covid-19 tests.

As testing ramps up, "so too must our labs" she said – adding three more labs will be set up.

New Zealand has another 85 new coronavirus cases today and one patient is now being treated in a hospital intensive care unit.

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Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield told reporters this afternoon that the Government will be circulating appropriate advice on personal protection equipment (PPE).

"All stones are being turned over to make sure there are enough PPEs for all healthcare workers in New Zealand," he said.

Bloomfield said he has not yet needed to sign an order requiring an emergency supply of personal protection equipment be unlocked.

He confirmed today that there are 85 new coronavirus cases, with one patient on a ventilator in a hospital intensive care unit.

There are 76 new confirmed and nine probable cases.

Ardern will be joined by Finance Minister Grant Robertson when she addresses reporters this afternoon.

The pair will unveil further support for workers and businesses impacted by the Covid-19 lockdown.

This comes just days after the Government announced it would be almost doubling its original wage subsidy scheme, from $5.1 billion to $9.3 billion

On Monday, Robertson announced Cabinet had agreed to remove the $150,000 per business cap and open the scheme up to larger cooperates as well.

To date, the Government has earmarked some $23.5b in spending to response to Covid-19.

And there is more to come. Robertson said this was only the Government's first tranche of spending.

"We will make sure that all New Zealanders continue to receive some form of income through this period," he said on Monday.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website