Leaked Government paper says New Zealand could be at COVID-19 alert level 1 already

The National Party has been leaked a recent Cabinet Committee paper that says New Zealand could be at alert level 1 already. 

It outlines the criteria for a move saying we need to have eliminated chains of transmission and had no new cases of community transmission for 28 days, and if that's been achieved there's no need for restrictions. 

"The permissive nature of the alert level 1 controls reflect it is predicated upon having eliminated chains of transmission and there have been no new cases from community transmission for at least 28 days," it says. 

"If that has been achieved, and we have confidence in our border controls, there is theoretically no need for restrictions on people's movements, interactions or activities."

It's now been longer than 28 days - the last community transmission case was 33 days ago. 

National leader Todd Muller is calling on the Prime Minister to bring us into alert level 1 as soon as possible. 

"If you can fill Eden Park from next Wednesday, you can start business today, so it's time for a captain's call."

Night clubs like Danger Danger in Wellington have not been able to fully open under the alert level 2 restrictions, and owner Matt McLaughlin was shocked to learn we could be at level 1 now. 

"If that's the case, I'm shocked and appalled."

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters agrees.

He said "two cycles would be required before we made a decision" and that they've "come and gone and we're now 33 days away from the last transmission". 

He says we're "ready now" for level 1. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern remains cautious.

She said the Government has "always moved cautiously" through the alert levels because "the worst thing we could do for the economy is go backwards". 

But the Prime Minister has been less cautious when it comes to following the rules herself. Both she and Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield have been snapped in pictures too close to strangers, with social distancing out the window. 

The Prime Minister and Dr Bloomfield both say they have followed the rules. 

"There's been the odd occasion where I haven't managed to sidestep quickly enough," Ardern said on Wednesday. 

Level 1, which Cabinet will consider on Monday, spells a return to near normality. But the Government is urging Kiwis to keep that diary going for contact tracing and to keep washing your hands. 

While we've run 12 days straight with no new cases, COVID-19 is still a very real threat across the globe, so our borders will remain closed. 

Dr Bloomfield says it's "very encouraging" to have 12 days in a row with no new cases.