Police have arrested three people for persistent breaches of the lockdown rules, as a new online form for the public to dob in breaches has already clocked up 4200 reports.

Curtain-twitchers outing members of the public crashed the new police reporting site within an hour of it going live yesterday.

There are 76 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the total to 589, and there are 12 people in hospital with the infection, three are expected to soon be discharged but two are in intensive care units.

Sixty-three people have recovered.


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Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield gave a breakdown at the Government lockdown taskforce press conference this afternoon.

Of the 455 cases where the infections are able to be traced:

• 57 per cent were from overseas travel
• 26 per cent were close contacts of existing cases
• 15 per cent were from either overseas travel and/or being a close contact
• 2 per cent (10 cases) were from community transmission

Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield has given an update on the Covid-19 outbreak in New Zealand. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield has given an update on the Covid-19 outbreak in New Zealand. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Two police officers are now among the confirmed cases, including one who was infected a while ago while working.

About 380 police staff were now self-isolating as a precaution, Police Commissioner Mike Bush said.

How to report people breaching the lockdown

Police launched a website at 1pm yesterday where people could report apparent breaches of the lockdown rules and 24 hours later it'd received about 4200 reports.

The system crashed within an hour of going live yesterday.


"It shows how determined Kiwis are to determine that everyone complies with it," Bush said today.

The "vast majority" of Kiwis were complying with the self-isolation rules brilliantly.

"They know they have to stay home to save lives.

"At the same time, those people who are complying are very passionate to ensure that others comply."

About 1000 of the reports related to businesses and the rest were about individuals.

Three people have been arrested for breaching the lockdown. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Three people have been arrested for breaching the lockdown. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Some of the reports were quite general, for example that there were people congregating at Mairangi Bay in Auckland, while others were simply "there's people at the beach".

Bush said police would prioritise based how good the information was.

He had personally driven past Oriental Bay in Wellington last night and saw a lot of people enjoying the sunshine at the end of a rainy weekend.

Most of them were playing by the rules but Bush said he saw a number not keeping a good social-distance - so would deploy more police staff to disperse the groups.

Bush said two of the three people who'd been arrested were released without charge but one was still in custody as they had other police matters.

Police had seen a slight reduction in domestic violence callouts, but Bush said it remained high on their priority list.

Tourists ignoring the lockdown

Bush issued a stern warning for tourists "who think it's okay to drive around the country in their campervans".

"It's not okay. Stay absolutely put. Stay in place.

"I appeal to those tourists - stay where you are. Those are the rules."

There would be consequences for tourists, like every other New Zealander, if they broke the rules and Bush said they were considering working with Immigration New Zealand to look at their visas.

He also said the hostel which allowed a party of 60 backpackers because they claimed to all be in the same bubble was "very poor advice" and they'd been "very strongly advised" to break into smaller groups.

Bush said he'd have called the party a "mass gathering".

Businesses which allowed these events to happen would also be held responsible, he said.

Police were called last night to a backpackers' party involving up to 60 people in a Queenstown park.Footage from the area shows backpackers spilling out of Deco Backpackers, which backs onto Rotary Park on Lake St in Queenstown. Video / James Allan

Changing practices following Covid-19 death

After the death in Westport of a woman who was originally believed to have influenza, Bloomfield said new guidance had been sent to DHBs.

Now patients with influenza symptoms must be treated as if they were Covid-19 until the testing had confirmed otherwise.

On home support workers' concerns about visiting multiple homes without the equipment, Bloomfield said there was advice on the website now for their situation.

He said they were now working with home care providers to ensure those workers had masks to use if required.

On measures hospitals were taking, Bloomfield said anybody coming into the ED was being screened and if there was respiratory illness they would be taken to a different area.

All visitors - from staff to courier drivers - were also being screened to ensure they had no symptoms.

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There are 76 new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield says. 63 have now recovered. There are 589 total cases now.

Flu vaccines for the right people

Bloomfield urged anyone who was eligible to get the flu vaccine for free to get it as it was a vital part of New Zealand's response to Covid-19.

Those people are:

• People over 65,
• Those with pre-existing medical conditions,
• Children with respiratory illnesses,
• Pregnant women
• Frontline healthcare workers.

He said anyone not in those groups shouldn't seek a vaccination if they weren't in those groups until at least mid-April.

"There is plenty of vaccine."

Bloomfield also urged everyone to sign up to Flu Tracker to help authorities track both influenza and Covid-19.

Kiwis coming home

More than 4540 New Zealanders had returned from overseas since the lockdown began.

Of those 94 were symptomatic and in quarantine, 1200 did not have a self-isolation plan so were in "managed self-isolation".