Coronavirus: No arrests for breaking lockdown rules on first day - police

Police say no arrests were made for breaking the lockdown rules on Thursday - the first day of New Zealand's "new normal".

The country entered COVID-19 alert level 4 on Wednesday night meaning everyone has to stay in their homes other than to access essential services or exercise nearby.

A police spokeswoman told Newshub on Friday no-one was arrested for breaching lockdown on Thursday. Commissioner Mike Bush had previously warned people could face six months in prison if convicted for breaking the rules.

"In general communities have followed the guidance and have stayed at home," the spokeswoman said.

She did not clarify how many people were warned by police for breaking the rules but earlier on Friday, Civil Defence emergency management director Sarah Stuart-Black said there were some incidents where people were breaching the new restrictions.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield told reporters it's essential New Zealanders play their part, after confirming 85 new cases on Thursday.

The "wave" of infections should start to go down in 10 days if everybody follows the rules and guidance, he said.

Dr Ashley Bloomfield.
Dr Ashley Bloomfield. Photo credit: Newshub.

Meanwhile, a microbiologist believes New Zealand is on track to prevent any further spread of coronavirus COVID-19.

Dr Siouxsie Wiles believes the country is moving according to plan.

"People mustn't get alarmed or anything because the next two weeks [or] 10 days our numbers are going to rise," she said.