There are zero new Covid-19 cases for the second day in a row.

Achieving zero cases two days in a row was testament to New Zealanders' efforts that "we can all be undeniably proud of", the Prime Minister says.

But because of the long tail of the virus, Jacinda Ardern urged Kiwis to double-down on their efforts to maintain the good run of numbers.

"Don't do anything that snatches our potential victory at this point."


The total number of cases has decreased by one to 1486 after a probable case was reclassified, he said.

Having zero new cases for a second day is "very encouraging" and all New Zealanders should feel pleased with their efforts, Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said.

"I certainly do."

The worst thing we could do is celebrate the success "before the fulltime whistle blows" jeopardise the gains we'd made.

"Stay the course, stay in your bubble and don't squander what we have achieved by giving this virus a chance that it will all too readily accept."

Just over 1300 people have recovered - 88 per cent of the total number of Covid-19 cases.

There are 184 active cases and four people are in hospital.

There were 3,232 tests completed yesterday, with a combined total to date of 155,928.


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High Court case allowing son to see dying father

It was revealed yesterday that a man in managed self-isolation went to the High Court after the Ministry of Health refused to allow him an exemption to see his dying father.

The judge overturned the Ministry's decision and the man was able to spend 36 hours with his very ill parent.

As a result of the legal action, Bloomfield said he's asked a team to review 24 requests for exemption of quarantine measure on compassionate grounds - all were rejected.

The review to ensure those requests were processed correctly started today and will be completed as soon as possible with findings expected by the end of the week, Bloomfield said.

Cases were being prioritised based on the urgency of the situations and the review would take into account the High Court ruling.


Ardern said the "whole point" of having the ability to apply for a compassionate exemption to isolation was for each case to be considered individually.

"There should be nothing automated about that. We should give genuine consideration for each of those applications because they only they would have been made for dire circumstances."

Ardern said it was ultimately the right decision to go back and review the decisions again.

But they didn't want "double-grief" by allowing unsafe situations - and some were very complicated.

Ardern said "these are devastating cases" but 20 people who've come into the country and were in isolation had tested positive and showed the risks they carried.

On DHBs having different policies on allowing support persons, Bloomfield said the person in charge of the ward had to balance up the case with the risks within a framework that was agreed nationally.


PM joining the Aussie Cabinet meeting and the transtasman bubble

On patching into the Australian national Cabinet meeting, Ardern said the last New Zealand Prime Minister to join that meeting was Peter Fraser.

Today they discussed each country's response to Covid-19, what they could learn from one another and how they could work together as they each recovered.

Both countries stand to benefit from allowing travel between the two countries, Ardern said, for economic relations and for those whose families and friendship stretched across the Tasman.

Australia has 1.2 million visitors from New Zealand each year, while New Zealand has 1.6 million visits from Australians.

But a transtasman bubble could only happen when both countries were confident they would neither import nor export cases was when the borders could open.

For Kiwis in Australia, Ardern said they could come home but they would still have to go into quarantine but they were considering how it would work in the future.


The transtasman bubble would give a sense of normality to New Zealanders, if we could make it work, said Ardern.

Ardern couldn't give any more clarity on timeframes as she was waiting for the meeting in Australia to end.

Ardern also wasn't able to say whether she discussed the CovidSafe app at the cabinet meeting as it was still ongoing, but said she'd spoken to Scott Morrison about it before.

A statement will be issued at the end of the national Cabinet meeting about what was discussed.

Extending wage subsidy

On whether the wage subsidy scheme would be extended for industries like tourism, Ardern said they were moving to a phase where they were looking at sector-by-sector support.

But they were also looking to encourage innovation as Covid-19 would be with us for some time so wanted to see industries adapt.


Ardern urged businesses to look at whether they relied on international travel and see how they could adapt as our borders will be closed for some time.

Infected nurses at Waitakere hospital

Bloomfield called the situation at Waitakere "a learning experience" and the review would find what they could learn and reduce to the risk to workers and staff.

Waitematā District Health Board is urgently investigating how three nurses at Waitakere Hospital were infected with the coronavirus leading to 57 staff being temporarily stood down.

International Midwives Day and Hand Hygiene Day

There are about 3,200 midwives in New Zealand and Bloomfield said their important work deserved recognition.

During the period of lockdown, about six thousand babies were delivered and Bloomfield said many, if not all, with the help of midwives.

"I want to acknowledge the wonderful work they do, not just today but each day."


Ardern said midwives "always go above and beyond" for mums-to-be.

Today is also World Hand Hygiene Day which Bloomfield said was very apposite at the moment.

"But I should also just point out that every day at the moment should be World Hand Hygiene Day and it's a very important reminder of what is a very simple action that prevents passing on any infection."

Today's Kiwi ingenuity shout-out from Ardern went to the transport logistics sector, including Greg and Sam who changed their schedule to match the Interislander timetable to get frozen vegetables and chips between the two islands.

National would introduce a GST refund scheme for businesses badly affected by the Covid-19 crisis to help with cash flow, leader Simon Bridges said in a major pre-Budget speech today.
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