There are three new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand - the 12th day in a row of single-digit case numbers.

Director general of health Ashley Bloomfield also had no further deaths to report.

He confirmed there are a total of 1476 Covid-19 cases in New Zealand, 347 of which are considered probable.

As 1241 people have recovered, the number of active cases is 235 – about 83 of all confirmed cases have recovered.

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Seven people are in hospital and no one is in ICU.

Today is the third day of level 3 and although the new numbers of cases remains low, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern continues to remind people to be vigilant.

She also revealed that the Government would not be rushing to get to level 2 any faster than it needed to, as New Zealand can't afford a second wave.

The past couple of days have seen people flock to fast-food outlets, after more than a month of home cooking.

Yesterday, Ardern had a strong message to those congregating outside the takeaways waiting for food – keep your distance.

Today, Ardern directed her comments towards the owners of the food outlets and those who are working in the kitchen.

She said the Government expects high standards and is taking the issues "really seriously".

She added that the Government will also be enforcing social distancing.

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More than 400,000 people are back at work this week – "this comes with extra responsibility", she said.

"While people can now enjoy takeaways and pickups, it is vital that we keep our physical distancing and stay at home if there is no need to be outdoors."

As of 5.30pm yesterday, Ardern said there had been 1035 complaints from members of the public about these very issues – and 277 have been referred to the compliance assessment team.

And of those 104 have been "tasked with further action" and will be followed up by the police or other Government agency.

Most of the complaints were to do with a lack of social distancing and business breaches.

The Government is monitoring news and social media to follow up on instances where level 3 rules are breached.

"We all have a responsibility to make this new phase of this Covid-19 response work."

She urged people to continue to act like they have Covid-19.

"The last thing we can afford is a spike in cases."

The move to level 2

Ardern said 75 per cent of the economy is operating - but that comes with a responsibility for people to maintain physical distancing.

She again said that alert level 3 was the "waiting room".

In terms of moving to the next alert level, the Government will be very focused on having the virus under control, she said.

Ardern warned that if New Zealand moved too quickly through level 3, there would be a higher risk of a second wave.

"This would be horrific for our economy."

Bloomfield said the Government will be keeping a close eye on businesses' physical distancing too, when it comes to a decision about going to level 2.

The Government "wouldn't necessarily" need to see zero new cases before the country moves down to level 2.

Ardern said it also matters where the cases were coming from.

At alert level 2, a big focus for the Government will be mass gatherings.

Ardern told people to continue to expect limitations around mass gatherings.

She added a lot of work is to be done before a transtasman bubble is put into practice.

But she said she's talking to Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison on this regularly.

Asked about iwi checkpoints, Ardern said police have been working alongside them to make sure they are legal and safe.

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But she said members of the public are not allowed to set them up.

There needs to be consultation with police.

Two per cent of children are at school, she said, and early childhood education centres had recorded attendance of 4 per cent of their usual rolls.

Later today, Parliament will pass a new law to provide SMEs with tax relief, Ardern said.

So far, $1.25 billion from the wage subsidy scheme has been paid 188,000 sole traders.

She said this has been a way the Government has been able to mitigate job losses.

Ardern once again asked people to shop local for takeaways, and praised companies giving discounts to healthcare workers.


Asked if all healthcare workers should be receiving a living wage, Ardern did not directly answer.

She would only say these workers are important and deserve a good quality of life.

But she called on the private sector to "value their workers" on the frontlines.

Ardern doubled down on her comments that New Zealand had won the battle with community transmission.

But she said that this was a "moment in time" and urged people to maintain their vigilance.

She said no one in the world will be saying "job done" and there is more work to do in New Zealand.

Covid-19 vaccine trials

Bloomfield said 90-100 trials are under way to help develop a Covid-19 vaccine overseas.

He said the Government was very keen for an Anzac approach to rolling out a vaccine, when it's available.

He said he would have more to say in the coming weeks.

This year's election and Budget

Ardern said there are no plans to change the election date from September 19, and the three-month campaign period before that date will remain the same.

Ardern said "giving more income to those who have the least" would be a Budget priority.

But she would not go into detail - saying she would not be making Budget announcements today.

Ardern said legislation cutting MP pay by 20 per cent will be before the House "soon".

Ardern said the Government has been trying to "pick up the pace" when it comes to MSD data, such as benefit numbers.

Ardern's well-wishes for Boris

Ardern said she had sent UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson a message of congratulations on the birth of his new son.

She said it would be nice for him to have joy during these times.

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Bloomfield said he had been given a report on PPE and he's preparing something to give to the Health Minister.

He will be receiving that this afternoon.

Bloomfield said he's optimistic about the report.

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