As the country prepares to go into a month of lockdown from tonight, there was another last-minute flurry of announcements and developments. A state of emergency was declared, the number of confirmed cases in New Zealand jumped by another record amount and the total is expected to go into the thousands.

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Get ready

• Heading into the lockdown, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had a simple message for Kiwis - "Act like you have Covid-19" and stay at home". Breaking the rules could kill someone close to you and see the lockdown period extended beyond four weeks, she warned. The PM said number of cases was likely to reach the thousands before it started to drop.

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A national state of emergency has been declared in New Zealand after 50 more coronavirus cases were confirmed today. This takes the country's total number to 205. Their details and travel histories - still incomplete at the time of writing - were released later. The state of emergency will give emergency powers to authorities to enforce the nationwide lockdown from midnight tonight.

Director of Civil Defence Emergency Management, Sarah Stuart-Black, outlines the powers that will be given to officials with the state of National Emergency declared. Video / Mark Mitchell

• And don't even think about driving to the beach or a park for some fresh air once the lockdown starts. That's the message from police commissioner Mike Bush, who told Newstalk ZB host Chris Lynch that people should only go out in their cars to get essential supplies.

Money, money, money

• Landlords say many tenants have misunderstood yesterday's Government announcement to give home owners and small businesses a six-month "holiday" from making interest repayments and payments on their bank loans. They say they can't stop collecting rent because they will still have to pay a bigger interest bill once the six months is over.

• The Warehouse could face a fine of up to $500,000 for saying it would stay open as an essential business during the lockdown - a claim it was forced to retract after the Government disagreed. The company's shares soared by 42 per cent at one stage following the announcement.

Mike Hosking talks to MBIE Deputy Chief Executive Paul Stocks to clarify the list of essential businesses that can remain open.

• ANZ chief economist Sharon Zollner thinks New Zealand is in a good position to weather the coming economic storm relative to many others. "A lot of countries have spent their bullets in the past 10 years. We haven't," she said. "Yes we are out of room to cut the official cash rate but we have a very low starting point for government debt."

Good reads

• Steve Braunias has a startling interview with one of the world's greatest virologists, 85-year-old NZ-born Professor Robert G. Webster, 85, who warns that politicians were so reluctant to take note of scientific warnings that "Mother Nature had to send the Angel of Death". The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

• Our syndication partner, the New York Times, has a series of stunning images showing the effect of coronavirus on cities around the world.


What to do now?

• Wondering how you'll spend the next four weeks? Clearly it's an opportunity for romance. While a pandemic is not an ideal time to find love, we simply must find workarounds, writes Sinead Corcoran. If you're struggling to get to grips with the whole working from home routine, Vera Alves has some essential tips. Netflix has promised to reduce the bit rate on its streams from tonight to reduce the strain currently being placed on broadband services in New Zealand. Finally, should you or shouldn't you - Melissa Nightingale investigates the pros and cons of not wearing a bra throughout the lockdown.

Check the latest number of cases in New Zealand and around the world here on our graphic.