Jacinda Ardern expected to announce mandatory quarantining of all arrivals to New Zealand tomorrow

Newshub understands the Prime Minister is planning to announce on Thursday mandatory quarantining of all arrivals to New Zealand - whether they come from COVID-19 hotspots or not. 

The move comes amid growing pressure on the Government to go harder at the border. It's expected quarantined Kiwis won't be able to leave their hotel or motel lock-ups.

The Prime Minister explained on Wednesday how the dialled up restrictions will apply "across the board" to any arrival in New Zealand - no matter where you come from. 

"We were working on stepping up our border controls once again, with no distinction, in a way that we've had no distinction to date." 

Newshub understands that under the new tough rules, people won't be able to leave for things like supermarket trips. It will be fully supervised quarantine by the Government - similar to what we saw with arrivals from Wuhan at Whangaparaoa Army Base in February.

"It's based on that model," Ardern said.

"This is me sending a bit of a message to those who are planning on coming home in the near future," the Prime Minister said, and the message is, if you come home you will spend 14 days in quarantine.

Campervan parks like the one at Auckland Show Grounds, and Canterbury A & P Show Grounds, could be used as well, assuming supervision is strict enough.

"It's going to become the critical way of protecting New Zealand from this virus - we know it's very infectious - so quarantine has to work extremely well because the cost of failure is very high," Otago University Professor Michael Baker told Newshub.

As it stands, arrivals with no COVID-19 symptoms and with adequate self-isolation plans aren't forced into quarantine in New Zealand.

"Mandatory quarantine means we don't trust people and one of the reasons why we live in New Zealand is because we do have this amazing sense of trust, and so I think there's going to have to be a balance," scientist Michelle Dickinson, also known as 'Nanogirl', told Newshub.

Even with tougher border restrictions, nearly halfway through the lockdown, now is not the time to ease up.

"There are lots of other countries that have taken much more draconian measures not just for their borders but for everything," microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles told Newshub.

"I think New Zealanders need to realise how privileged they are that they are being treated like grown-ups and we should act accordingly."

Pressure has been piling on the Government to move. A petition from National for mandatory quarantine received 40,000 signatures in 24 hours.

"The reality is, they've had weeks now to work this out," National leader Simon Bridges said on Wednesday. "I say to the Prime Minister: you need to work out how to do this quick, smart."

Everyone is invested in making it work and pulling the country out of lockdown.

"I miss people," Ardern admitted during her press conference. "It's nothing against the fine people in this room, but I am in this job used to having a lot of contact with the public, and I miss people."

The Prime Minister doesn't want to leave anything to chance in these final two weeks.

Analysis by Political Editor Tova O'Brien

Has the Government acted fast enough? Certainly not, according to the Opposition.

But the Government would argue it needed to make sure things were in place, like sufficient hotel rooms, before it could act, and that in the earlier days far too many people were arriving and quarantining them all would've been impossible.

Thursday's changes will discourage a lot of people from coming home. It's also worth remembering this isn't just a lockdown crackdown - it's a longer-term measure, through level four, probably through level three and possibly beyond until there's a vaccine or rapid testing.