Some regions could come out of coronavirus lockdown before others, says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

Some regions could come out of lockdown before others if people comply with restrictions, says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. 

On Monday afternoon the Government announced New Zealand will enter Level 3 of the alert system - meaning all bars, cafes, restaurants and takeaway services will close.

In 48 hours the country will enter Level 4 - near total lockdown. All non-essential business and schools will close and transport will close to everyone who is not an essential service. 

People must work from home and reduce all contact with others. 

"We need to remain in Level 4 as a nation but then we may be at a period where some regions can be lifted out," Ardern told media on Monday afternoon.

"But compliance is key."

When the alert system was announced on Saturday Ardern said there was potential for some regions to sit at a Level 4 while others could be dropped to Level 2. 

Ardern said test results will inform the Government's decision on lifting lockdowns.

"If we see a slow from certain areas it may allow us to lift that restriction in some areas."

However she stressed the entire nation would need to remain in lockdown for four weeks. 

"Once you detect (COVID-19) it moves very quickly. It will take a concerted effort over these next four weeks."