There are 15 new coronavirus cases today as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reveals what life will look like on the other side of lockdown.

When New Zealand moves to alert level 3, there would be a partial opening of schools for students up to Year 10 only and attendance isn't mandatory, Ardern said.

Students who can remain home and do distance learning are encouraged to do so.

Children at school would be kept in the same groups each day and it would be down to each school to work out how to do that, Ardern said.


Public play equipment would remain closed.


Shops, bars, cafes to stay shut but can do deliveries and takeaway coffee

Public-facing bars and cafes, malls and retail stores have too much contact with the public so they will remain closed.

But food deliveries and e-commerce could re-open, she said.

Drive-through services at restaurants are also allowed.

The hospitality won't be able to have face-to-face interactions so restaurants would need to rely on deliveries and retailers have to utilise click and collect.

There could be takeaway coffees, as long as it could be done through an app or online.

Travel rules for alert level 3

Travel restrictions will remain under alert level 3.


But the advice has changed from "keep it local" to "keep it regional" and travel should be restricted as much as possible.

Ardern said the different Covid-19 levels allow different levels of contact between people.

Level 3 is about "restrict" as there was a risk the virus could "bounce back", she said.

Swimming and fishing allowed, boating banned

Boating and jetskis are still banned because they can be prone to breakdown.

But you can swim, surf and fish from the shore.

Don't start a new activity that you haven't done before, the PM said.


If there are signs of congregation, this rule will be reconsidered so Kiwis shouldn't consider it a time to catch-up with all their swimming buddies, Ardern said.

Expanding your bubble

People should keep their bubble at level 3 but can expand it "a small amount", she said.

Those who need carers, have shared custody, or want to see their family could do so.

"Keep it exclusive, keep it small," she said.

For bubbles which included older people or with pre-existing conditions, those people should still be kept safe.

"People need to really use their judgment," Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said.


If there was a child in that bubble, it would be advised to keep the child home from school if possible.

Even though the bubbles were being slightly expanded, Kiwis should try to keep them as limited as possible.

New Zealand’s third week in lockdown was it's most deadly, but as new case numbers continue to fall, NZ remains optimistic that Level 4 restrictions may be lifted on schedule.

Going to work under alert level 3

If you are able to work from home, you must, Ardern said.

But if that is impossible to do so, for example if you work as a plumber, you can do so but you have to maintain social distancing.

MBIE advised the Government the numbers of people who could work under level 3 doubled from level 4, Ardern said.

Rules for weddings, funerals and tangi

Funerals and tangi can go ahead but only 10 people can attend.


Weddings are also restricted to 10 people and only services can take place - there can't be any meals or receptions.

One metre is the new distance you should keep to but you have to be able to contact-trace.

Keep a note of where you've been, when and who you saw, she said.

Bars will remain shut under alert level 3. Photo / 123rf
Bars will remain shut under alert level 3. Photo / 123rf

Why NZ still has restrictions

Ardern said there were still restrictions because the end goal was elimination. "When we get there, we want to stay there."

New Zealand will need a team of five million to achieve the goal of elimination, she said.

On the triggers for moving between levels, the primary factors are exponential growth, indicators of widespread transmissions and regional data, Ardern said.


Ardern has recently spoken to the leaders of Denmark and Singapore to discuss what they were doing as they came out of lockdown but said NZ's strategy was unique to us.

On the voluntary return to schools, Ardern said that was because other parents would be returning to the workforce instead of just essential workers.

The reason for allowing up to and including Year 10 covered children under 14 who legally couldn't stay home alone so parents returning to work could have childcare.

Lockdown was easier to enforce as it was "black and white" and so at alert level 3, that would be harder to police.

Ardern said she was relying on New Zealanders to be responsible.

Businesses wanting to trade are expected to put hygiene and social distancing measures in place and more details about MBIE's accreditation scheme would be released next week.


Will some regions come out of lockdown early?

On whether some regions would come out of level 4 before others, Ardern said they would factor in whether that was workable as there were concerns about that.

Kiwis shouldn't push "to the maximum" of how far they could go and should stay within their regions.

About the West Coast and whether it could be lifted out soon, Ardern said no decision had been made about any part of the country coming out of lockdown.

Swimming at the beach is allowed, but Kiwis can't use boating and jet-skis. Photo / Alex Burton
Swimming at the beach is allowed, but Kiwis can't use boating and jet-skis. Photo / Alex Burton

Ardern once again referred to level 3 as a waiting room and said this was because "we have to wait and see if what we've done has worked".

Ardern told reporters that the indications of the actions taken against Covid-19 were "promising".

"We should not confuse the success of our actions with overreaction," the PM said.


The actions were about protecting people's livelihoods as well as fighting the virus, she said.

Ardern said revealing the alert level rules "in no way" foreshadows whether the lockdown will be lifted next week, Ardern said.

She said the last thing the Government wanted was to "give away" the gains New Zealand had made under the lockdown.

15 new cases today

Bloomfield says the 15 new cases are made up of six confirmed cases and nine probable cases.

Twelve people are in hospital, three are in ICU and two are in a critical condition.

Four per cent of cases now classified as "under investigation" and 23 cases since March 24 are in that category.


Five of those cases are due to overseas exposure and 13 are connected to known cases.

Four are now classified as "community-acquired" and one case from yesterday is still under investigation

This detailed information on the sources of infection will form part of the decision to lift the country out of lockdown, Bloomfield said.

Eighty-eight people who arrived from overseas remain in quarantine.

Three hundred people at a supermarket in Queenstown are being swabbed today for sentinel testing.

There are no new significant clusters, so the total stands at 16.


A post-mortem is underway for the man who died in Invercargill thought to be coronavirus-related, Bloomfield said.

The Invercargill case was connected to the Bluff wedding cluster, he said.

Bloomfield said it's still not 100 per cent certain where the infection case came from at the Rosewood rest home.

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On Monday, the Government will decide whether to lift the lockdown two days later and will base its decision on advice from Bloomfield as to whether the virus is under control.

Yesterday there were 20 new cases of Covid-19 and for the first time the number of people recovered from the virus outweighed how many people still with symptoms.


There were no further deaths but Bloomfield was waiting on more information before confirming if the death of an Invercargill man was coronavirus-related.

This morning, she told Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB that there would still be restrictions.

"One thing I will just flag is that at that level, because of the risk we are trying to combat, there will still be significant restrictions on your interactions with other people.

"If you think about the need to keep doing that, you'll get a better idea of what life will still be like. But it will be different to level 4."

Finance Minister Grant Robertson has previously said it would be a move from "essential" businesses to "safe" businesses.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said earlier today that all signs are positive towards lifting New Zealand's lockdown next week and a lower level would see "a whole lot" more businesses able to open under guidelines.


"Unless there is an adverse finding... the evidence looks compelling for that [lockdown lifting]," Peters told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking today.

He would wait right up until Monday - when Cabinet meets to decide on the future of the lockdown - and for the latest health information, but right now, the data "points to the easing up of the situation".

Peters expected "a whole lot" of businesses would be able to reopen next week, provided they met safety requirements and guidelines, of which more will be revealed today.

There would be advice for specific sectors and specific guidelines within those sectors, he said. It was important business owners had clarity to be able to say "yes, we can comply".

"We have to get this economy coming back as fast as we can without making a mistake on the way through."