Coronavirus: Jacinda Ardern reveals biggest worry heading into lockdown's second half

The Prime Minister is worried that despite New Zealand seemingly starting to flatten the COVID-19 curve, people may become complacent in the second half of the nationwide lockdown.

Wednesday marks the fourteenth day under the strictest restrictions Aotearoa has ever seen, which require people to stay at home unless in specific circumstances. 

But initial data shows the measures put in place to limit Kiwis' exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus appears to be having some impact. 

Last week, the criteria for someone to be tested was broadened to no longer require people to have a link to overseas travel or a confirmed case. At the same time, the number of tests being conducted each day began to ramp up, with an average of 3063 processed each day over the seven days. On Monday, 3709 tests were undertaken, compared to 1391 last Monday.

However, despite that increase in tests, New Zealand hasn't seen a significant jump in how many cases it is recording. On Tuesday, 54 cases were confirmed in the country, the lowest in two weeks. Overall, there are 1160 cases in Aotearoa, with one person having died.

The lack of a large spike could be a sign that lockdown measures are working, but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said that she won't loosen the rules before the scheduled four weeks is up. 

She has also warned Kiwis not to become complacent, which she says is her biggest worry.

"We are at a really hard point. We are at that almost halfway point and it is hard going and I can absolutely understand, particularly, as people come to Easter, they would have had plans and things they wanted to do," Ardern told The Breeze's Robert and Jeanette. 

"There are so many people sacrificing a lot and in really difficult positions, but we do just need to keep going. That is one of the things I worry about. We won't be able to succeed unless we all play our part."

Ardern said New Zealand's numbers were stabilising and that in comparison to other countries around the globe, we are "in a really good place".

"We definitely now have really good signs and we have had that consistently over a few days now. What the people who spend their time pouring over the data and the numbers say is that there are three phases. There is the upwards, which we were going to be on for the first little while, and then you see things stabilise, and we have had that for the last five days, and then what we want to start seeing is a decline," she said.

"I don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves because we saw that start yesterday but we need to see that for a little longer before we can be too optimistic, but relative to other countries, we are in a really good place.

"Relative to where we could have been, the modelling before we went into lockdown showed that as of Sunday we would have had potentially 4000 cases. We can see that what we are doing is making a big difference."

On Tuesday, Ardern and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield told New Zealanders not to head away over Easter.

"If we are going to make the most of this period in this alert level and the signs are promising, we're cautiously optimistic everyone needs to keep their foot on the pedal and that includes over Easter have a staycation," Dr Bloomfield said.

Authorities will be keeping an eye on the level of community transmission over the next few days. It currently only sits at about 2 percent of cases, but officials will want it to stay low if the lockdown is to be lifted in two weeks.