Coronavirus: Glenbrook's steam train eagerly awaiting alert level 1 over fears it 'isn't going to be able to survive'

One New Zealand local business is itching to get to alert level 1 over fears it can't sustain low group numbers under current level 2 restrictions.

The Vintage Railway in Glenbrook, south of Auckland, is struggling to stay open while numbers are limited to groups of 10.

There is no set date for when New Zealand will move to level 1, but the Prime Minister is set to detail decision-making milestones on Wednesday.

Glenbrook's steam train has carried thousands of passengers since 1978, but general manager Tim Kerwin is worried the business has run out of puff.

"They're going to lose a significant part of New Zealand's history if the railway isn't going to be able to survive this."

Moving to level 1 is critical for the steam train attraction's survival.

"We just want it up and running, today, tomorrow, yesterday," Kerwin says.

New Zealanders have been given a sense of normality over the past six days under alert level 2. Although thoughts are turning to level 1, Jacinda Ardern is giving little away about what that will look like and when that will happen.

"I'll be giving a little bit more detail on that tomorrow," she said on Tuesday.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield is also refusing to give any details.

"It's too premature for me to comment on [level 1]. That work is only just getting underway and I really don't have anything further to say around that," he said during a press conference on Tuesday,

According to the Government's COVID-19 website, being at level 1 means the disease is contained in New Zealand, there's intensive testing and no restrictions on gatherings. 

University of Otago public health Professor Michael Baker says health officials need to be certain the virus is eliminated before moving to level 1.

"We have to be really confident we've achieved elimination of COVID-19 in New Zealand, so that means no detected cases for four weeks in the presence of a high-performing surveillance system," he says.

The last recorded case of community transmission in New Zealand was on April 2.