Just one single unexplained case of Covid-19 could keep New Zealand at level 2, the Finance Minister suggests.
Speaking to Heather Du Plessis-Allan, Grant Robertson tonight said that were a case of community transmission to crop up, the Government would need to get the green light from its advisers to lower the alert level.
A case of community transmission, "where we can't explain it because it's not someone from overseas whose gone into quarantine or it's not linked to one of those existing clusters," could threaten the move to level 1, he said.
But were that to happen, the Government would take advice from health experts on what to do, including the possibility of halting the move to level 1, he said.
"We'd obviously want to look at that alongside the economic ramifications, how we are in terms in compliance, we weigh all of those things up together.
"But where we are right now, in level 2, puts us with one of the most liberal set of restrictions in the world now."
It comes as the country marks 11 days in a row of no new cases of the virus.
No one is currently in hospital receiving treatment and there is just one active case remaining.
"As long as we keep going on the path that we're on, then we should be in a really good position to move to level one," Robertson said.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today the country could lower the alert level in just eight days' time if all goes well.
Ardern said 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.
There's been increasing pressure on the Government to lift the level 2 restrictions, both from the Opposition and from Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, who says the health risks are now outweighed by the devastation to the economy.
Director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield today said there was currently "no evidence of community transmission in New Zealand".
But he urged people, including the thousands that marched in protest following the death of George Floyd in the United States, to remain alert for symptoms of Covid-19.
"Anyone who attended these gatherings or who is planning to be at other upcoming events and feels they may be at risk by coming into close contact with people they don't know, should take a cautious approach and seek advice," he said.
But as there was no evidence of community transmission in the country, protesters were not required to self-isolate for 14 days.
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Bloomfield reminded people that, under alert level 2 rules, gatherings should have no more than 100 people and the public should follow physical distancing rules.
People could get advice from Healthline, from their GP or an after-hours clinic if they had concerns, Bloomfield said.
"Whatever the alert level in New Zealand, it's clear Covid-19 will continue to be a global threat for some time and it's important we remain vigilant - both as individuals and as a country.
"This means continuing to observe physical distancing to keep yourself and others safe, seeking appropriate heath advice, and most importantly, staying at home if you're unwell," he said.