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

Download a poster asking people not enter your building(external link)

Find out more about COVID-19

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.
Source data: Ministry of Health

Police Commissioner Mike Bush to Lead New Police Taskforce

The Police have established a new task-force to assist with enforcing tough restrictions that are likely to be implemented shortly:

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.

Sounds ominous.

Teaching Council Wants Schools Closed

Stuff reports:

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’

NZ Herald reports:

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.

CaseLocationAgeGenderTravel details
102Auckland50sMDetails to come
101Upper Hutt50sFDetails to come
100AucklandTeensFDetails to come
99Nelson50sFLinked to a confirmed case
98Kapiti Coast60sFDetails to come
97Wellington20sFDetails to come
96Wellington40sMDetails to come
95Auckland40sFDetails to come
94Auckland20sFDubai to Auckland on 19 March – flight EK448
93Auckland40sFDetails to come
92Auckland20sMDoha to Auckland on 22 March – flight QR920
91Auckland40sFLA to New Zealand on 15 March – flight NZ1
90Auckland50sMLA to New Zealand on 15 March – flight NZ1
89Nelson70sMRelated to case 88, details to come
88Nelson70sFDetails to come
87Canterbury20sMDetails to come
86Wellington60sMDetails to come
85AucklandChildMRelative of a confirmed case
84Auckland50sMDoha to Auckland on 18 March – flight QR920
83Auckland50sFDoha to Auckland on 18 March – flight QR920
82Auckland60sFLinked to two confirmed cases
81Auckland60sMDubai to Auckland on 18 March – flight EK0448
80Marlborough50sMSydney to Auckland on 18 March – flight QF143, Auckland to Blenheim on 18 March – flight NZ8205
79Tasman20sMInternational travel – flight details to come
78Manawatu40sFSydney to Wellington on 19 March – flight NZ842
77Auckland20sFKuala Lumpur to Auckland on 19 March – flight MH0133
76Auckland60sMHong Kong to Auckland on 13 March – flight CX2191
75Waikato70sMRelative of a confirmed case
74Auckland20sMTravel to USA – flight details to come
73AucklandTeensMDetails to come
72Canterbury20sFSingapore to Christchurch on 18 March – flight SQ297
71Auckland30sMLA to Auckland on 18 March – flight NZ05
70Auckland50sFDetails to come
69Auckland40sMDubai to Auckland on 15 March – flight EK448
68Dunedin20sFSan Francisco to Auckland on 17 March – flight NZ07, Auckland to Dunedin on 19 March – flight JQ285
67Auckland20sFWellington to Auckland on 15 March – flight JQ256


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