A new period has begun for New Zealand at alert level 3, with increasing amounts of traffic and takeaways, and most importantly, a decreasing amount of coronavirus cases. However, the next phase of recovery has come with warnings from New Zealand's leaders - now is not the time to get complacent. Get all the important news and read the full stories in the links below.

Key developments in NZ

• Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says there is not "one point in time" when the fight against Covid-19 will be over, and the recovery room of alert level 3 didn't mean New Zealand was "out of the woods". The Government has announced 35 new employment centres across the country to connect employers with job seekers under level 3, but continuing to stamp out Covid-19 was also the best economic response, Ardern said. "We will have to keep stamping Covid out until there is a vaccine."

As New Zealand wakes up under Alert Level 3, PM Jacinda Ardern talks to Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking about Covid-19 checkpoints, Deborah Russell, and the wage subsidy scheme. Audio / Newstalk ZB

• New Zealand has had its 10th straight day of single-digit coronavirus cases, with just three new cases reported on Tuesday afternoon - and just 239 active cases in total. But that good news (along with the overnight lifting of the level 4 lockdown restrictions) also came with a warning from director general of health Ashley Bloomfield for people to keep their distance as they rush to buy takeaway coffees and hamburgers.

Director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. Photo / Getty Images
Director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. Photo / Getty Images

Listen live to Newstalk ZB's coronavirus coverage

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• New academic analysis shows the level 4 lockdown in New Zealand not only allowed the country to catch up to Australia, but surpass it in terms of per capita Covid-19 cases. The daily case rate in New Zealand has been only 59 per cent that of Australia since the start of a 33-day lockdown, according to Otago University Associate Professor Brian Cox, whose analysis shows that New Zealand's lockdown had been far more successful than Australia's. However, Australia's top medical official has claimed Australia was seeing similar results to New Zealand despite not pursuing the country's "elimination" strategy.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo / Getty
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo / Getty

• As level 3 begins, the Prime Minister spoke exclusively to the Herald about the decisions she had made, how she would navigate the rocky road ahead, and what level 3 means for her own bubble.

On the last day of stage four lockdown, PM Jacinda Ardern spoke about her decisions and the approach for the rocky road ahead.

Business update

• Fast food has been the first thing on the menu for many Kiwis under level 3, as queues of more than 20 cars have been spotted at McDonald's restaurants around New Zealand. Dozens of fast-food outlets reopened for contact-less drive-through and delivery this morning, and the queues began as New Zealand's main centres buzzed with traffic for the first time in almost five weeks.

Traffic has returned to the roads at level 3. Photo / Michael Craig
Traffic has returned to the roads at level 3. Photo / Michael Craig

• Small business owners may see their names up in lights - or giant digital billboards across the country - as two of New Zealand's leading marketing companies come together to help get them up and running after the Covid-19 lockdown. Meanwhile, hundreds of displaced hospitality and tourism workers are getting support and advice from a platform initially launched for job seekers, as the process of rebuilding the economy begins in level 3.

Around the world

• Tens of thousands of people in the United States have died from Covid-19 in the fortnight since President Donald Trump declared the nation had likely seen the worst of the pandemic. "The data suggests that nationwide, we have passed the peak on new cases," the President said on April 15, when the US had recorded around 28,000 deaths. The country now has an overall death toll of 54,876, with 965,910 confirmed infections.

• Stockholm authorities have ordered five pubs and restaurants to close for breaking social distancing rules, in the first sign of a stricter approach to coronavirus control in Sweden. The closures came as Sweden's statistics agency reported that the second week of April witnessed its highest death rate since the turn of this century, underlining the price it has paid for its decision not to impose a lockdown. Sweden has so far reported 2274 virus deaths and almost 19,000 cases, putting its per-capita death rate from the pandemic at more than triple that of neighbouring Denmark and nearly six times that of Norway and Finland, all of which put in place heavier restrictions.

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

Bay of Plenty fisherman Sean Bracefield cast into the sunrise this morning as level 3 began. Photo / Alan Gibson
Bay of Plenty fisherman Sean Bracefield cast into the sunrise this morning as level 3 began. Photo / Alan Gibson

In sport

• The Warriors look set to train in isolation for two weeks in New South Wales after being granted federal government exemption to travel to Australia to play out the remainder of the 2020 NRL season. The Australian Border Force has allowed the Warriors to fly into the country and they could touch down in Australia as early as Sunday. The league will now meet with the NSW state government on Tuesday to gain approval for the Warriors to self-quarantine.

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