VIRUS LATEST
* 5.36 million cases globally, with 343,000 deaths; NZ has just 27 active cases
* Man arrested after trying to escape isolation at Auckland hotel
* Travel ban for offshore NZ residents travelling on visa for the first time
* UK PM Boris Johnson stands by aide over 400km lockdown trip
* Latest developments and essential information

Jacinda Ardern has one eye on level 1 - and another on the new National Party leader - as Cabinet meets today to discuss easing level-2 restrictions.

"I will be looking to do more signposting today," Ardern told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking.

"In the sense of timelines around level 2, just as we have done in the past, when we have said we will go in for x amount of time and look to transition from there. I don't want to get in front of the Cabinet decision but we will be signposting today."

Advertisement

She said Covid-19 was still in New Zealand - the country has just 27 active cases, and only one new case in the past week.

"That's the lens to make sure we keep moving safely, so we don't end up in a second wave situation but we are better placed than most. You should see that reflected in the decisions we make today."

Cabinet meets today to discuss raising the maximum number of people allowed to gather under level 2 - currently people can gather in groups of 10.

On new National Party leader Todd Muller, Ardern said she had few dealings with him to date - "perhaps two interactions over my time in Parliament".

"He said he wants to move away from being oppositional for the sake of it and I welcome that - we have a global pandemic we need to be focused on."

On Muller's MAGA hat, she said people judged politicians on their record. "They probably need a bit of time yet. They probably don't know or haven't seen much of him yet."

Asked whether he'd be better than Bridges, she said she tended not to get into a commentary around the Opposition.

"The National Party is going through a transition, they are a different party than they were under Key and English and I wish them well for that; I know transitions can be tough."

Advertisement

LISTEN LIVE TO NEWSTALK ZB

Ardern said she disagreed with a letter from her outgoing business advisory council chairman Fraser Whineray that Australia was balancing the health and economic impacts better than New Zealand.

She cited the bigger percentage of Australians on jobseeker allowances. "They have had a much bigger increase than us - time will tell. I don't think we can be compared poorly with Australia.

"We are focused on job creation, sustaining jobs and making sure we prepare people for jobs in the future."

She completely disagreed that Labour was relying too much on unionists, academics, NGOs and public servants for advice. "I am looking to do something that brings in a range of voices including the private sector to make sure we are getting that feedback as we go into our rebuild stage."

On a future vaccine, she said work had already started on how a Covid programme could be rolled out to communities.

"We have not had a history in New Zealand of compulsory vaccine. But we know we can get up to herd immunity without it [being compulsory]. We would have to have an incredibly strong - and we've already started on this - vaccination programme, the ability to get out fast and I expect our uptake would be what is required to get herd immunity."

EARLIER

The country recorded just one new coronavirus case last week, as Cabinet meets today to discuss raising the maximum number of people allowed to gather under level 2.

Meanwhile, two Auckland bars were shut down on Saturday night after refusing to comply with restrictions which include having a maximum number of 100 on their premises at all times.

Police have not named the bars, or revealed what restrictions the pubs were breaching.

If Cabinet does decide to raise the number of people who can gather at one time - currently 10 - any changes could happen within 48 hours.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warned the number would only be relaxed if the country continued to record low Covid-19 case numbers.

There was only one new case last week and only just 27 active cases in New Zealand.

There was just one case reported on Friday, linked to the St Margaret's cluster in Auckland, and no new cases for the three days before that.

The total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 remains at 1154 and the combined total of confirmed and probable cases remains at 1504.

There was one person in hospital in Middlemore but they weren't in intensive care.

The country's active cases are in Waitemata, Auckland, Counties Manukau, Waikato, Hawke's Bay and Canterbury.

Subscribe to Premium

About 30,000 more people have downloaded the NZ Covid Tracer app, and a total of 354,000 registrations.

It said personal information and contact details provided through the app would only be used to get in touch if someone is identified as a close contact of a Covid-19 case and location information is not shared with contact tracers unless someone chooses to do so.

Meanwhile, several new Auckland council services reopen this week, while a drive-in cinema will kick off on Wednesday at the ASB Showgrounds.

It would be hosted over 11 days of movies including Dirty Dancing, Boy, Rocketman, Jojo Rabbit, Hustlers, The Gentleman, Dolittle, Ford V Ferrari, Frozen 2 and Ride like a Girl.

READ MORE:
Covid-19 coronavirus: Zero new cases today - just 27 people still classed as having the virus
Covid 19 coronavirus: Two bars shut down overnight for level 2 breaches
Covid 19 coronavirus: Why cases are growing in Russia, Brazil and India
Covid 19 coronavirus: Japan defy health expert fears and avoid massive coronavirus, while experts query the mystery of why

Auckland Zoo reopens on Wednesday. However, punters won't be able to buy tickets on the door, all need to be bought online.

The Auckland War Memorial Museum opens today with a contactless, controlled entry and one way traffic flow through the building.

Visitor numbers would be limited while physical distancing would be enforced.

The Museum of Transport and Technology — better known as Motat — will reopen on Tuesday after hosting a special weekend for its members.

It would operate a contactless entry, only accepting electronic payments.

Rainbows End and Kelly Tarlton's, a multitude of parks, public toilets, and Auckland's Botanic Garden Visitor Centre were back in business at the kick-off to level 2.

BACK IN BUSINESS:

Monday: Auckland War Memorial Museum

Tuesday: The Museum of Transport and Technology [Motat]

Wednesday: Auckland Zoo, Drive-in Cinema