Coronavirus: Jacinda Ardern says lockdown won't exceed level 4

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says there's no plan to impose stricter lockdown conditions that would bring New Zealand up to 'alert level 5'.

The country has been in lockdown for 11 days so far and it will be at least two more weeks until this is lifted.

Ardern was asked by reporters if there was a chance New Zealand would move to a 'level 5 alert'. She said that no one wants an increase in alert levels and to see the types of strict measures that have been used in other countries.

"This is as tight as it gets. You'll see that relative to other countries that have used lockdowns, [a level 4 alert] is equivalent to what you've seen in Italy and the likes of Spain."

She said the goal of alert level 4 is to reduce contact as much as possible, but still be able to look after the welfare, health and safety of New Zealanders.

Other countries that have escalated their lockdown measures have done so because the original rules "haven't been applied and haven't been followed", she said.

"The reason that [New Zealanders] are reporting where they see non-compliance is because they want to maintain the access that they currently have to the outdoors, and we do too. As long people stick to the rules, we should be able to maintain that."

The Ministry of Health's Director-General Dr Ashley Bloomfield said there are no plans for a curfew to be added to lockdown protocol.

"What we need to do is get down from [alert level 4].

"As long as people stick to the rules we should be able to maintain [the current restrictions]."

Ardern's comments came after the Ministry of Health confirmed on Sunday there are 48 new confirmed cases and 41 probable cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand, the additional 89 cases bringing the country's total to 1039.

Of this total, 156 people have recovered from the virus and 15 are in hospital, including three patients in the ICU. Two are in a critical condition.

In the past week there have been 2448 tests per day on average and a total of 36,209 tests so far. On Saturday alone 3093 tests were completed.

Forty-five percent of New Zealand's cases have clear links to international travel and 36 percent are contacts of known cases. Confirmed community transmission remains at one percent while 18 percent of cases are still under investigation.

More than 2000 calls each day are being made to potential close contacts of confirmed cases.

There are 12 significant clusters around the country, including new clusters in Canterbury and Auckland. Fifty-eight cases have been linked to a wedding in Bluff and 56 have been confirmed in the Matamata cluster. The Marist College cluster in Auckland remains the largest with 66 cases.

Ardern said that 795 prevention patrols have been completed by police nationwide over Friday and Saturday alone, as well as 990 reassurance checks at essential services, including pharmacies and supermarkets.