Prime Minister’s statement:
- Alert Level 3 now in place immediately
- PM will issue an epidemic notice and will move country to a national civil defence emergency
- Two cases of possible community spread.
- Potential for cases to double every five days.
- Reviewed in 48 hours, will go to Level 4 on Wednesday.
- Non-essential businesses must now close.
- No indoor or outdoor events
- Only supermarkets and other essential services will remain open.
- Schools now closed from tomorrow except for children of essential works workers.
- Work from home where possible.
- You can leave your home for fresh air, exercise outside only spending time with others in your household. Maintain 2m spread between people.
- Air travel only for people undertaking essential services.
- Air travel stopped in 48 hrs.
- No interislander except for essential services.
- Contact tracing and testing of Covid patients will continue
- Slower transmission means areas moved out of level 4 over time
- In short term virus will rise but new measures will slow the virus donw
- Measures in place for 4 weeks
- No exit date given but at least 4 weeks
- Non compliance means these measures will be in place for longer.
- Ardern: “Medical modelling seen by Cabinet today suggests that if these measures are not undertaken tens of thousands of Kiwis could die because of Covid-19.”
- PM will stay in Wellington, ministers to work from home
- No Grand Coalition on table
- Election date remains at this stage
Finance Minister Statement
- $150k cap gone. All business eligible
- Self employed eligible too
- Every employee who is unable to work from home and is non-essential will be covered.
- Expansion cost expanded to $9.1 Billion
- Government implements rent freeze and will work out some kind of loan protection scheme
- No cause terminations of tenancies banned
- Further income support for employees planned for Alert Level 4
- There is also some form of loan protection being worked on.
Education Minister & Leader of the House Statement:
- Schools and early childcare close from tomorrow
- Tertiary institutions to close ASAP
- Funding in sector remains
- Teleconference for Parliament business committee tomorrow.
- Parliament will meet next Wednesday.
- Motion to suspend all non-essential business before parliament
- Plans to adjourn parliament on Wednesday.
- No plans to recall parliament for at least 4 weeks.
Current alert Level 3: Restrict
New Zealand is now at Level 3 to stop and eradicate COVID-19.
At risk people
People over 70 years of age, people who have compromised immunity or people who have underlying respiratory conditions should stay at home as much as they can.
At risk people include:
- Those over 70: Older people often have underlying health issues, including respiratory issues that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19.
- People with medical conditions: Underlying medical conditions can make you more vulnerable to COVID-19. In particular, people with respiratory conditions, such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), heart conditions, high blood pressure, kidney problems and diabetes.
- People undergoing a treatment for cancer and blood conditions: As treatments for cancer and blood conditions affect people’s immune systems, this makes them more vulnerable to COVID-19.
- Pregnant women: Health experts do not yet know if pregnant women are impacted by COVID-19 in the same way as other people. However, pregnant women experience changes in their bodies that may increase their risk from some infections.
- People without easy access to healthcare
For some of new Zealand’s communities, other aspects of their lives may mean they are also at risk. This includes:
- Residents of aged care facilities: Aged care facilities are susceptible to rapid transmission of viruses like this. Residents are more susceptible to illnesses due to their age and they are also more likely to have underlying health conditions.
Ministry of Health briefing:
- 36 new cases confirmed.
- Total is now 102.
- Over half of the new cases are directly related to overseas travel, while the remaining two are being treated as community transmission.
- Over 1200 tests were carried out on Sunday. A total of 7400 have been carried out overall.
- The ministry was also completing a stocktake of ICU capacity, which would be publicly released. Bloomfield said he was “encouraged” by the stocktake so far.
- People who were continuing to go to bars, cafes and restaurants and treating Covid-19 as a bad flu should “get with the programme” and play their part in helping to restrict the virus’ spread.
Alert Level 2 remains in place at this stage.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush to Lead New Police Taskforce
The head of a new Government coronavirus task-force says people should ring the police if they see people or venues obviously flouting rules around social distancing or self-isolation.
Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush has been appointed to lead the new operational taskforce to fight the virus, which has now infected 66 in New Zealand.
The taskforce would take in all pillars of Government – not just police, with about 70 officials homed on Wellington’s Lambton Quay at the Evidence Based Policing Centre.
But police were a crucial part of the response with increased patrols in high-risk areas for coronavirus infections, particularly if the the new “alert level” rose from level two upwards.
“Whatever settings are put in place, we will be there to enforce compliance,” Bush told RNZ.
Teaching Council Wants Schools Closed
The Teaching Council has called for all schools and daycare centres to shut down immediately to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
In an open letter to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday, Teaching Council chief executive Lesley Hoskin made the call which she said was on behalf of 130,000 teachers.
The closure should be immediate, she said.
“As the voice of teachers, the council, on behalf of all teachers, implores you to act now and to move to Alert Level 4, closing early childhood centres and schools.
Sir Peter Gluckman Says NZ Needs to Go into ‘Extreme Shutdown’
The Prime Minister’s former chief science adviser, Sir Peter Gluckman, is warning the Government that it needs to do more to respond to Covid-19.
In a tweet, he said: “The evidence is mounting that the best thing NZ could do is make the hard decision to go to extreme shutdown now.”
“The number of new cases coming from offshore means community transmission will get established without absolute precaution.”
New Zealand is at level on the official alert system – a full lockdown would mean the country would need to be moved up to level four.
COVID-19 – current cases
Information about current cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand.
Last updated 4:20 pm, 23 March 2020.
|102||Auckland||50s||M||Details to come|
|101||Upper Hutt||50s||F||Details to come|
|100||Auckland||Teens||F||Details to come|
|99||Nelson||50s||F||Linked to a confirmed case|
|98||Kapiti Coast||60s||F||Details to come|
|97||Wellington||20s||F||Details to come|
|96||Wellington||40s||M||Details to come|
|95||Auckland||40s||F||Details to come|
|94||Auckland||20s||F||Dubai to Auckland on 19 March – flight EK448|
|93||Auckland||40s||F||Details to come|
|92||Auckland||20s||M||Doha to Auckland on 22 March – flight QR920|
|91||Auckland||40s||F||LA to New Zealand on 15 March – flight NZ1|
|90||Auckland||50s||M||LA to New Zealand on 15 March – flight NZ1|
|89||Nelson||70s||M||Related to case 88, details to come|
|88||Nelson||70s||F||Details to come|
|87||Canterbury||20s||M||Details to come|
|86||Wellington||60s||M||Details to come|
|85||Auckland||Child||M||Relative of a confirmed case|
|84||Auckland||50s||M||Doha to Auckland on 18 March – flight QR920|
|83||Auckland||50s||F||Doha to Auckland on 18 March – flight QR920|
|82||Auckland||60s||F||Linked to two confirmed cases|
|81||Auckland||60s||M||Dubai to Auckland on 18 March – flight EK0448|
|80||Marlborough||50s||M||Sydney to Auckland on 18 March – flight QF143, Auckland to Blenheim on 18 March – flight NZ8205|
|79||Tasman||20s||M||International travel – flight details to come|
|78||Manawatu||40s||F||Sydney to Wellington on 19 March – flight NZ842|
|77||Auckland||20s||F||Kuala Lumpur to Auckland on 19 March – flight MH0133|
|76||Auckland||60s||M||Hong Kong to Auckland on 13 March – flight CX2191|
|75||Waikato||70s||M||Relative of a confirmed case|
|74||Auckland||20s||M||Travel to USA – flight details to come|
|73||Auckland||Teens||M||Details to come|
|72||Canterbury||20s||F||Singapore to Christchurch on 18 March – flight SQ297|
|71||Auckland||30s||M||LA to Auckland on 18 March – flight NZ05|
|70||Auckland||50s||F||Details to come|
|69||Auckland||40s||M||Dubai to Auckland on 15 March – flight EK448|
|68||Dunedin||20s||F||San Francisco to Auckland on 17 March – flight NZ07, Auckland to Dunedin on 19 March – flight JQ285|
|67||Auckland||20s||F||Wellington to Auckland on 15 March – flight JQ256|