Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed at today's post-Cabinet press conference that the Government would spend another $150 million on personal protective equipment for workers in border facilities and in health care.

Ardern also announced that the Government was looking into confining new arrivals in New Zealand to their rooms for the first three days of their stay

The spend is on top of the $200 million announced in April.

Ardern said the Defence Force audit of border facilities identified issues with PPE so the Government was allocating another $150 million for supplies.


DHBs would be training staff at the facilities about how to use PPE.

The $150 million was for all different forms of PPE and New Zealand was able to supply some of the demand domestically, she said.

Ardern said there was no playbook to pre-empt the "twists and turns" of Covid-19 so the Government was learning as it went.

She said people would struggle to fund a harsher critic than her.

Twenty-one per cent of all the testing had happened in the past two weeks and there was still no evidence of cases outside of border facilities, she said.

Every active case - all 22 of them - are in a facility of some kind and Ardern compared that to the situation in Australia.

The Government was looking into the legalities to require new arrivals to stay in their rooms for the first three days of their stay in their facilities, Ardern said.

Minister in charge of the facilities Megan Woods said the day three test still might not pick up someone incubating the virus, but director general of health Ashley Bloomfield and Air Commodore Darryn Webb were looking into what options were available.


Ardern said requiring people to stay in their rooms would be "another layer of protection".

Ardern also said she would like to see people charged in the near future if they chose to leave New Zealand and then get free isolation upon their return.

Ardern said for anyone looking to go overseas, especially ahead of the school holidays, it wasn't fair for taxpayers to pick up the tab for their return so the Government was looking into its options as to how to charge them for border facilities.

Towns and regions will be engaged if new isolation facilities needed to be stood up, Woods said.

Ardern said it was not surprising more Kiwis were wanting to come home as the pandemic raged overseas.

We have freedoms many others around the world don't have, like playing sport and travelling where we liked, she said.

Ardern said "we do not want to leave anything to chance" in relation to the border.

On the issues of supplying masks to Air New Zealand, Ardern said because the Government was a major shareholder in the company it wanted to give certainty the extra layer of security would occur.

She said the Government knew airlines were struggling and wanted to ensure there was no barrier to the PPE policy being implemented.

On the issue of the transtasman bubble, Ardern said flights would need to change as they were often used for transit flights which posed a risk.

Airport operations would also need to be reviewed, Ardern said.

In response to National leader Todd Muller saying the borders should be opened, Ardern said it was "dangerous" for New Zealand to open its borders.

Ardern said she wouldn't say it was "unrealistic" for the transtasman bubble to happen this year.

In the wake of Paula Bennett announcing her retirement, Ardern said the former National deputy leader always had an ability to keep her sense of humour, even in tough circumstances. She said her departure will be seen as a loss for the National Party.

In a statement, Health Minister David Clark said the PPE funding will ensure anyone coming into the country on Air New Zealand flights will have access to face masks as well as full protection for workers doing swabbing.

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"This latest funding will help protect health and other frontline workers and ensure that our strict isolation and quarantine procedures are maintained," Clark said.

"It will ensure health workers, who wear comprehensive PPE when they are in close contact with returnees as they do swabbing and health checks, continue to receive it. Face masks and gloves must also be available to other workers at the facilities – and returnees will also be required to wear face masks when they are in common or exercise areas.

"It is important that PPE is worn correctly, so frontline staff will be trained at managed isolation and quarantine facilities in its safe and effective use.

Two million masks have arrived in the country in the past fortnight and have been added to New Zealand's central PPE store.

"From there they have either been distributed to frontline workers or retained to ensure we have sufficient supplies in reserve.

"These items include masks, isolation gowns, disposable aprons, face shields, goggles, gloves and hand sanitisers and disinfectant wipes, which have been hard to obtain during the Covid-19 pandemic due to global shortages.

"With demand for PPE in New Zealand and internationally continuing to be high due to Covid-19 we had to move quickly to ensure people carrying out this vital work could do it safely."

One of the recommendations in the Defence Force audit of border facilities was for an immediate review of the PPE requirements at managed isolation and quarantine facilities.

Today director general of health Ashley Bloomfield said ahead of the audit, the Health Ministry changed its policies and now required standard surgical masks to be worn after someone left their plane until checking in to a facility.

And those doing swabbing were required to wear full PPE.

The PPE would be provided to the facilities by the Health Ministry.

Bloomfield said New Zealand had both a good stockpile and good supply line of PPE.

Bloomfield said at this point widespread use of masks in the community was not necessary.

"There is no doubt that mass masking may play a role if we get community transmission again."

While it was a potentially important tool in breaking community transmission, however, because we didn't have community transmission at the moment there was no need for this action.

"There are other more important things we should be doing at the moment but they're definitely not off the table," said Bloomfield.