As leading businesses prepare for a hopeful return to level 2 in the next fortnight, another death has brought New Zealand's coronavirus toll to 20. Get all the important news and read the full stories in the links below.

Key developments in NZ

• Claims all community roadblocks have a police officer present collapsed less than a day after being made, with police headquarters now admitting there was no officer at a roadblock on State Highway 1 where motorists were being refused onward travel. Police had initially claimed the officer was there but have now admitted he was absent for 70 minutes. The incident unfolded less than 24 hours after new police commissioner Andy Coster told Parliament's epidemic response committee checkpoints now had a police presence "so that they are lawful".

• There are six new cases of Covid-19 today and the Ministry of Health reports that another person has died of coronavirus. George Hollings, a Rosewood Rest Home resident in his 80s, died in Christchurch's Burwood Hospital of the virus early this morning. There are now 20 people who have died from Covid-19 in New Zealand. Five of today's cases can be traced to a known source, the Ministry says. The total of confirmed and probable cases is 1485, with 1263 - 85 per cent - reported as recovered. There are five people in hospital, and none in ICU, while three clusters are now considered closed.

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• Auckland's top police boss is working with a Viaduct bar owner who wants to host a "dummy run" party with 100 of his "best friends" when the country to moves to alert level 2. As Kiwis around the country wait for bars and restaurants to open, Leo Molloy's gathering at Headquarters has provided some insight into what could become the new normal under level 2 in hospitality. Guests will be temperature checked at the door and required to supply their names, addresses and phone numbers. A bouncer will patrol the dance floor ensuring partygoers stand 1m apart, kissing will be banned and police will do spot checks to make sure people follow the rules. Molloy is liaising with Auckland Central Area Commander Inspector Gary Davey and the liquor licensing agency to ensure the private bash can go ahead on May 15, if the country has moved to level 2.

Kitesurfers at Cheltenham Beach are back in action at level 3. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Kitesurfers at Cheltenham Beach are back in action at level 3. Photo / Brett Phibbs

In depth

• Justifiable exaggeration, obfuscation and omission?: Lockdown meant closing businesses, cloistering people in their own homes, and calling off weddings and funerals. Yet we went along with it. The Herald looks at how Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's words proved just as important as science in NZ's response to Covid-19.

• It was the worst-case scenario that health officials were dreading – the deadly coronavirus entering a rest home. The 11 deaths at Christchurch rest home Rosewood now accounts for the deadliest cluster in New Zealand. How did it all happen? Kurt Bayer reports.

Business update

• Small airlines warn they are on the brink of failure and without a relatively small cash injection smaller communities could be left without air links permanently. The largest of the second and third tier operators, Air Chathams, says the sector needs as little as $10 million in direct government support to tide it over, which it says is a fraction of what has been allowed for Air New Zealand. And the body representing all airlines operating here says most of the regional domestic carriers are ''hanging by a thread'' and direct financial support is needed.

• The small business loan scheme has been welcomed by the industry, but questions remain. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme will provide assistance of up to $100,000 to firms employing 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees, but there is doubt over whether it will be enough to keep some small businesses going.

Around the world

• A New Zealand study has mapped the coronavirus epidemic curve for 25 countries and modelled how the spread of the virus has changed in response to the various lockdown measures. It shows six nations and six different curves – and how the nations that moved fastest avoided disaster.

Trump claims he has evidence that COVID-19 was made artificially in a lab. Video / CNN

• More than a dozen US states let restaurants, stores or other businesses reopen in the biggest one-day push yet to get their economies up and running again, all with their own restrictions and quirks. People in Louisiana could eat at restaurants again but had to sit outside at tables three metres apart with no waiter service. Maine residents could attend church services as long as they stayed in their cars. And a Nebraska mall reopened with plexiglass barriers and hand-sanitising stations but few shoppers. The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

In sport

The Warriors are taking flight on Sunday. Photo / Photosport
The Warriors are taking flight on Sunday. Photo / Photosport

• The Warriors have finally been given the green light to enter Australia in time for the resumption of the 2020 NRL season. The NRL confirmed today the Warriors received approval from the Australian Border Force to travel to Tamworth, in regional New South Wales, where they will see out a 14-day quarantine period. About 50 Warriors players and staff will get on a charter flight, but one final hurdle remains, with the club working on helping families to join the players, who could be based in Australia for up to six months.