There are no new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today.

The total number of confirmed and probable cases remains at 1499 and there's been no change in the number of people recovered from the coronavirus so the number of active cases is still 47.

Two people are in hospital, one in Auckland and one in Middlemore, but neither are in intensive care.

Director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield said there had been fantastic support from churches and other faith-based organisations during lockdown and alert level 3.


Under level 2 these gatherings are limited to 10 people.

"I know many people, including those of faith, want to move as quickly as possible to increase the size of these gatherings; I know how important it is for people to be able to practise their faith together," he told reporters this afternoon.

The specific issue of whether to raise the maximum number of people who can gather from a limit of 10 will be considered by Cabinet on Monday. It won't specifically relate to religious gatherings.

Bloomfield said he believed New Zealanders understood the need for the limits, despite days of very low new Covid-19 cases in this country.

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Auckland's Marist College was allowed to open today, despite it being an active cluster, because the testing results were encouraging and there was no ongoing infection in the school community.

The cluster had been well contained, Bloomfield said.

Bloomfield said he wasn't concerned, but he was watchful about another potential spike in cases after the incubation period of the virus following the move to level 2.


At the moment New Zealand had no community transmission, and to move to level 1 that would need to continue.

For parents nervous about sending their children back to school, and others worried about going back to work, Bloomfield said the work put in over the last seven weeks had put us in the best possible position - so they should be confident the risk of infection was very low.

The family home was where transmission usually occurred and health officials were looking at options about how to reduce that, Bloomfield said.

Retail stores were not required to gather customers' contact-tracing details as the risk of people interacting was low, he confirmed.

However this was important for hospitality businesses as people gathered for longer.

Police: 250 complaints a day about level 2

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said there had been a significant drop in the number of level 2 breaches, compared to life under level 3.


This included fewer problems with parties over the weekend than the one before.

Coster said reports of breaches at alert level 2 than other levels - police have had about 250 to 350 per day in level 2 compared to the 700 to 1000 they'd had in level 3.

There have been 983 breaches reported in level 2, mostly through the 10-5 phone line.

About 700 of those complaints were against businesses and 250 for mass gatherings.

Police took action on 30 breaches - 29 resulted in warnings and one person was being prosecuted, Coster said.

They'd also had a number of complaints about retail businesses not having contact tracing systems, but Coster said contact tracing for retail customers wasn't a requirement as they're unlikely to be in close proximity for a long time.


But retail businesses have to be able to contact trace their staff.

Hospitality operations, where people are sat together for a longer period, must be able to contact trace customers.

Police had yet to use their controversial new legal powers to enter a property without a search warrant, Coster said.

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster is giving an update on Kiwis behaved during their first weekend at alert level 2. Photo / Pool
Police Commissioner Andrew Coster is giving an update on Kiwis behaved during their first weekend at alert level 2. Photo / Pool

It would be unlikely those powers would need to be used "with any frequency", Coster said.

However the public would expect police to be able to take action in "extreme cases" which is why they needed those powers, he said.

"The sort of scenario you might imagine is a party out of control, if we were denied access to the property by the occupants then a power of entry would allow us to go and sort that situation out."


The new powers were narrowed from what has been in place under the previous state of emergency and health orders, Coster said.

"And in our own operational guidelines have required frontline staff to consult with a district command centre or our national command centre prior to executing a warrantless power of entry.

"There's an obligation to report to me as the commissioner as soon as possible outlining the circumstances."

And in the case of a marae, the marae committee would also receive a report, Coster said.

WHO meeting

Bloomfield will tonight be leading the New Zealand delegation at the 2020 World Heath Assembly which is being held virtually and livestreamed.

New Zealand is co-sponsoring a resolution on Covid-19 to agree, at the high level, future areas of work that member states, the WHO and other organisations should deliver in unity, such as fair access to vaccines.


Health Minister David Clark will present New Zealand's country statement via video link.

Bloomfield said he did not "have a speaking part" in the WHO meeting, but may join if there is something relevant that member states need to speak to or vote on.

There will also be reference to a review of Covid-19, which was usually the case with pandemics.

"The findings from these reviews help improve how countries respond both from a domestic and international cooperation perspective. They also help WHO develop new technical guidance and support."

But we're still very much "at the end of the beginning", Bloomfield said.

By agreeing a resolution, member states signalled their intention to co-operate with the review and it's expected it would be adopted unanimously.