Coronavirus: Jacinda Ardern's golden rules of alert level 2

Jacinda Ardern has outlined the "golden rules" Kiwis need to follow when New Zealand moves to alert level 2 on Thursday.

During Monday's 4pm conference the Prime Minister announced businesses would be able to reopen from Thursday, schools from May 18, and bars from May 21.

Ardern congratulated the country on the response to coronavirus so far but says reopening the economy could see an increase in new cases as more people leave their bubbles.

"Your efforts, New Zealand, have got us to this place, ahead of most of the world and without the carnage COVID-19 has inflicted in many other places. But there are risks ahead so please be vigilant at level 2. Irresponsible behaviour will take us backwards."

She outlined six "golden rules" which Kiwis should follow under level 2 to help stop the spread of the virus.

  • Keep your distance from other people when you are out in public, including on transport
  • If you're sick, stay home. Don't go to work or school. Don't socialise
  • If you have symptoms of cold or flu call your doctor or Healthline immediately and get tested
  • Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Do it properly
  • Don't get together socially or mix and mingle with more than 10 people at once
  • Keep a track of where you've been and who you've seen

She says the rules are important so that once businesses can open, they can stay open.

"That's why we are asking you all to be incredibly careful as we get back to a new safer normal. None of us can assume COVID-19 isn't with us."

Under level 2, gatherings will be restricted to 10 people as if one person gets the virus it will be easier to contain.

Many of New Zealand's current clusters came from socialising events, including a wedding in Bluff which has 98 cases emerge, a Matamata bar with 77 cases and an Auckland stag party with 39.

"If something goes wrong with a group of 10, that's much easier to contain, much easier to contact trace, and much less likely that if something goes wrong that the whole country will have to experience more restrictions," Ardern says.

"That doesn't mean you won't see larger gatherings than this. People will be at the movies - but they'll be spaced out. They'll be watching sports, but spaced out. People might go to shows, but they'll be spaced out. You'll see bars and restaurants open - but they'll be required to have people seated, and spaced out."

This rule will be reviewed in another two-weeks time.

Alert level 2 reminder:

  • businesses can restart for staff and customers
  • 'bubbles' can cease
  • domestic travel recommences 
  • schools and early learning centres can open
  • gatherings both indoors and outdoors are limited to 100 people
  • public places reopen
  • sport and recreation comes back, including professional sports competitions
  • home gatherings must be kept small
  • hospitality must follow the three S's: seated, separated, single-server