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Jacinda Ardern eases coronavirus rules after four-week lockdown

New Zealand to loosen the country’s coronavirus lockdown next Monday because they’ve ‘broken the chain’ – as Jacinda Ardern calls for businesses to ‘get ready to open’

  • New Zealand will move out of strict level four restrictions on Monday next week 
  • Tough lockdown rules were brought in on March 26 to slow the spread of virus 
  • Kiwis will move out of tough restrictions on Monday, April 27 at 11.59pm 
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

Jacinda Ardern has announced the toughest measures from New Zealand’s coronavirus clampdown will be removed.

The country will end its level four lockdown rules on April 27 and move to level three for at least two weeks.

Under level three lockdown rules, schools will reopen, and more businesses – including the construction and forestry industries – can get back to work.  Restaurants and cafes will be able operate for delivery orders only. 

A review will be undertaken on May 11 to decide whether to ease restrictions even further. 

Ms Adern said socially, level three would not be much different to level three, however, economically it would be different. 

The tough level four restrictions have seen Kiwis stuck in their homes for the past four weeks. They have only been allowed to leave to do food shopping, to seek medical care or for exercise. 

Supermarkets remained open but all other food stores, such as cafes and restaurants were forced to close. 

New Zealand appears to be over the worst of its coronavirus outbreak but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (pictured) says she’s hesitant to lift the strict lockdown measures 

Since imposing a full-scale lockdown on March 26, the country has seen its infection rate fall. 

It recorded nine straight days of under 20 new COVID-19 cases, heightening hopes the country’s extreme lockdown will be loosened.

On Monday, health authorities announced a fresh nine cases, bringing the nationwide tally to 1440.

Of that, 974 people have recovered from the virus.

With no deaths in the last 24 hours, the country’s death toll stands at 12.

The New Zealand Cabinet is meeting on Monday to make a decision on whether to extend the lockdown or reduce the most onerous restrictions. 

New Zealand COVID-19 alert levels

Level 1: Prepare

Border entry measures to minimise risk of importing COVID-19 cases applied

Contact tracing

Stringent self-isolation and quarantine

Intensive testing for COVID-19

Physical distancing encouraged

Mass gatherings over 500 cancelled

Stay home if you’re sick, report flu-like symptoms

Wash and dry hands, cough into elbow, don’t touch your face

Level 3: Restrict

Travel in areas with clusters or community transmission limited

Affected educational facilities closed

Mass gatherings cancelled

Public venues closed (e.g. libraries, museums, cinemas, food courts, gyms, pools, amusement parks)

Alternative ways of working required and some non-essential businesses should close

Non face-to-face primary care consultations

Non acute (elective) services and procedures in hospitals deferred and healthcare staff reprioritised


Level 2: Reduce

Entry border measures maximised

Further restrictions on mass gatherings

Physical distancing on public transport Limit non-essential travel around New Zealand

Employers start alternative ways of working if possible 

Business continuity plans activated

High-risk people advised to remain at home (e.g. those over 70 or those with other existing medical conditions)


Level 4: Eliminate

People instructed to stay at home

Educational facilities closed

Businesses closed except for essential services (e.g. supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics) and lifeline utilities

Rationing of supplies and requisitioning of facilities

Travel severely limited

Major reprioritisation of healthcare services