New Zealand will move to level 3 of lockdown from 11.59 pm next Monday. Alert level 3 will be held for two weeks and then Cabinet will evaluate whether to move down another level.
Newzealand introduced its highest, level 4 lockdown measures in late March, under which offices, schools and all non-essential services including bars, restaurants, cafes, and playgrounds were shut down.
On Monday, only nine new cases of COVID-19 were recorded and no new deaths, taking the total to 1,440 cases with 12 fatalities, reported Reuters.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand, which has been much stricter than many other countries, including neighboring Australia, had done what very few others have been able to do.
Any businesses needing to prepare to move into level 3 could be accessed, Ardern said, as could schools, to prepare for the return of pupils. April 28 will be a teachers’ only day and April 29 will be the first day of term.
Shops, malls, hardware stores, and restaurants will remain shut but can permit online or phone purchases.