INDEPENDENT NEWS

Covid-19 rules and restrictions on businesses to be lifted under alert level 1

Published: Thu 4 Jun 2020 09:58 AM
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says there will still be strict controls on the border, but all current rules and restrictions on businesses and services will be "essentially lifted" under alert level 1.
She said the lower alert level would also put an end to restrictions for hospitality businesses, and gatherings - including funerals and tangihanga - of any size could take place.
Physical distancing measures will not be considered necessary.
"Community sport can start without physical distancing restrictions."
Contact tracing efforts will remain and the government will be encouraging contact diaries.Watch the PM's latest briefing here:
Ardern said the golden rules under alert level 1 were:If you are sick, stay home.If you have cold or flu-like symptoms get testedWash your hands, Wash your hands, Wash your handsSneeze and cough into your elbow and regularly disinfect shared surfacesIf you are told by health authorities to self isolate you must do so immmediatelyIf concerned about your wellbeing or you have underlying health conditions consult with your GPKeep track of where you've been and who you've seen so we can use that for contact tracing if neededBusinesses should help with rule seven by displaying a QR codeStay vigilant
She said it was the government's "strong desire" to get to level 1 as soon as it was safe and possible.
"Within the last week we removed restrictions on bars and by Monday we'll have a good view on whether that's led to more cases."
She paid tribute to the efforts made in the fight against the coronavirus so far.
"Lives have been saved, hospital protected from overflow and the job of economic recovery will be able to start faster."
Yesterday, Ardern announced that Cabinet will consider moving to alert level 1 on 8 June, earlier than previously indicated.
She had said the country would be given a period of time to transition, but it was possible that we could be at alert level 1 by 10 June.
"As long as we kept seeing the results that we're seeing now [then it is possible to move to level 1] ... if we see cases at the border then that also shouldn't derail our progress, because those of course are cases of individuals who are in quarantine."
Ardern said she would continue to advocate for distancing rules and had been in "awkward situations" where she had needed to reject close contact with people.
"We need to stick to level 2 rules for now. We need to stay united and when we get to level 1, appreciate the freedom it offers and put into place new behaviours that will mean we don't have to go backwards."
In reference to questions from a reporter on photographs of her at a restaurant getting close to people, she said she had tried to avoid it but that it could be difficult when people pushed in alongside you, sometimes children.
She said there were still some risks, including the country heading into winter and asymptomatic transmission.Read more about the Covid-19 coronavirus:See all RNZ Covid-19 newsCovid-19 symptoms: What they are and how they make you feelTouching your Face: Why do we do it and how to stopScientific hand-washing advice to avoid infectionYour Covid-19 questions answered - from health and employment to managing anxietyA timeline: How the coronavirus started, spread and stalled life in New ZealandCoronavirus: A glossary of termsPodcast: After the Virus
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