New Zealand will know when we're moving to COVID-19 alert level 1 within the next month, the Prime Minister says.
In her post-Cabinet press conference, Jacinda Ardern told media the Government will make its final call on when to make the move by June 22 - exactly four weeks from now.
"It is the Government's view that we should also move as quickly as we safely can to alert level 1," she told reporters from the Beehive Theatrette on Monday.
"On that basis Cabinet will check in again on our settings on the 8th of June, and we've agreed that no later than the 22nd of June - four weeks from today - we will consider the move to alert level 1.
"I should add this is based on the Director-General of Health, who supports and made these recommendations."
The Prime Minister says the fact New Zealand is in a position in which we can make these decisions points to our success at curbing the spread of coronavirus.
"[It] highlights we can now make choices many other can't. In fact the increase in gathering size means we now have some of the most permissive settings of any of the countries we compare ourselves to - including Australia," she said.
"For the most part, many aspects of life can and should feel much more normal. Let's not lose that advantage."
Speaking to The AM Show on Monday, public health expert and Otago University professor Michael Baker said New Zealand shouldn't rush to alert level 1.
He said China has experienced chains of transmission that go on for many weeks, which has seen it still getting new cases a month after coming out of lockdown. He said Kiwis, for the most part, want a more cautious approach.
"You can show with modelling that if you have four weeks with no cases, you've got more than a 95 percent chance that the disease has gone," he said.
"That doesn't mean that some of the cases now wouldn't necessarily all count - because they may have occurred several weeks ago in terms of when they got infected."
Earlier in the press conference, Ardern announced that alert level 2 rules would be eased, with gatherings of up to 100 people now allowed. The move addresses criticism of Government measures that put restrictions on faith gatherings and funerals.