The Prime Minister is making COVID-19 testing mandatory at managed isolation facilities, extending a ban on cruise ships and launching a new testing programme in an effort to strengthen New Zealand's border and curb the spread of coronavirus.
In her post-Cabinet press conference on Monday afternoon, Jacinda Ardern announced that our current health order would be made stricter when the Government renews it at midnight tonight.
Her announcement means it's now compulsory for individuals at managed isolation and quarantine facilities to submit to testing during their 14-day stay, and they must test negative for COVID-19 before being allowed to leave.
"We've taken the opportunity, while renewing that health order, to make it crystal-clear that individuals must submit to testing and medical exams, including the potential of multiple tests," Ardern said.
"It also spells out that for a person to meet the low-risk indicator by day 14, in order to leave isolation or quarantine, they are expressly required to submit to a test - and that test must be negative."
Ardern says Cabinet has also agreed to an "ongoing surveillance testing programme", which is designed to "ensure we're maintaining checks in our communities and for people who are working in our more high-risk sectors, such as at the border".
The Government is also extending its cruise ship ban, which was due to expire on June 30.
"This order also sets out rules for very specific exceptions, such as cargo vessels being allowed to load and unload, fishing vessels to unload and resupply and vessels to come to New Zealand to undertake repair and refitting," she explained.
"However, for any vessel in a New Zealand port, crew who are coming into New Zealand must complete a 14-day period of managed isolation here, unless they have been on the boat for more than 28 days."
The change will come into effect from June 30, and indicate a major tightening of the current regulations, which allow crew into the community after 14 days onboard a vessel.
The new measures come just hours after Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield reported New Zealand's eighth and ninth new active cases on Monday afternoon.
Both these new cases were spotted at the border, and the Prime Minister again reiterated that more cases were expected.
"Zero cases in New Zealand was always a point in time, and as I said at the time we moved to [alert] level 1, we were always going to see cases at the border. Our job now is to keep them there.
"So as the world enters this dangerous new phase, we remain at a phase of border containment."