New Zealand could move to level 1 next week if all goes well – so what does that look like?

While tough measures at the border continue, there are no distancing rules for level 1 – nor are there for personal movement, or for gatherings, currently limited to 100.

"Level 1 potentially means we keep our border restrictions, but life feels very, very normal otherwise," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

She confirmed that Cabinet had today discussed the alert level decision-making processes.


Ministers would fully review the alert levels next Monday, she said.

If there were no further cases in the coming days, New Zealand could be in a position to move to alert level 1 next week. More details on what alert level 1 would look like would come this week.

Under the current level 2, sports and other activities have been allowed, "subject to conditions on gatherings, record keeping, hygiene requirements and – where practical – physical distancing".

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When it comes to travel, we can drive or fly around level 1 New Zealand to our heart's content – with the obvious exception that we keep away from crowded trains and buses if we're sick or waiting on a Covid-19 test result.

Level 2 has been more or less the same – but we've still been expected to keep our distance from others.

Hospitals, GP clinics and disability care services can go back to operating normally in level 1.

Level 2 has meant they can "operate normally as far as possible", but that's still involved needing to follow strict guidelines about distancing and infection control.


Until level 1, doctors are expected to consult with their patients remotely whenever that's possible.

As for schools, universities and early learning centres, a probable or confirmed case of Covid-19 means they have to close again immediately.

The Government defines level 1 as when Covid-19 is "contained in New Zealand", unlike level 2, when the disease is contained but risk of community transmission remains.

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Ardern said this morning that at next Monday's Cabinet meeting the decision could be made to move to level 1 in 48 hours.

She had always been clear that June 22 was the latest date to decide to move to level 1, assuming there was no evidence of community transmission.

It comes as New Zealand has had its 11th straight day of testing finding no new Covid-19 cases.


New Zealand was in a position to consider to moving to level 1 earlier than expected because of the success of the lockdown.