The Prime Minister gave a rundown on what New Zealand could expect from COVID-19 alert level 1 on Wednesday - and while it mostly means a return to normality, Jacinda Ardern is urging Kiwis not to be complacent.
Cabinet will decide next Monday if the time is right for New Zealand to shift to alert level 1, and the Prime Minister said it will depend on whether we continue to record no new coronavirus cases.
If we do, the current regulations placed on businesses will be "essentially lifted", she told media on Monday - meaning physical distancing protocol will come to an end, as will the strict 'three Ss' rules for the hospitality industry.
"Ultimately, level 1 represents us getting the virus under control, but the war doesn't end so long as COVID-19 is still around the world - the economic damage caused by it is ongoing," Ardern said.
"We need to stick to level 2 rules for now, we need to stay united - and when we get to level 1, appreciate the freedoms it offers while putting in place new behaviours that mean we don't have to go backwards again.
"None of us want to go backwards again."
Ardern then gave a list of "golden rules" for alert level 1, which include dealing cautiously with illness, listening to the authorities and practicing good hygiene.
PM Ardern's 'golden rules' for COVID-19 alert level 1
- If you're sick, stay home: "Don't go to work or school, don't socialise. None of that changes when we lift restrictions. We do not want New Zealanders to be stoic and go into workplaces or anywhere else if they're sick."
- Do the right thing if you have symptoms: "If you have cold or flu-like symptoms call your doctor or Healthline. Make sure you get tested.
- Practice good hand hygiene: "Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands." Advice so nice she said it thrice.
- Sneeze the safest way you can: "Sneeze and cough into your elbow and regularly disinfect shared surfaces."
- Listen to the authorities: "If you're told by health authorities to self-isolate you must do so immediately."
- If you're worried, speak to an expert: "If you're concerned about your wellbeing or you've got underlying conditions, we encourage you to work with your GP to understand how best to stay healthy."
- Pay attention to your movements: "Keep track of where you've been and who you've seen to help with contact tracing if needed. I really encourage you to use the NZ COVID Tracer app as a handy and easy way to do that."
- Businesses must do their bit: "Businesses should help people keep track of their movements by displaying the Ministry of Health QR code for contact tracing.
- Stay vigilant: "There is still a global pandemic going on. People and businesses should be prepared to act fast to step up alert levels if we have to.
- Be kind: "People will have had very different experiences over the past couple of months. Whatever you're feeling, it's okay. Be kind to others and be kind to yourself."