New Zealand in a state of lockdown

From Wednesday night, New Zealand will be in lockdown for at least four weeks in an attempt to minimise the spread of the virus, which has infected over 150 people in New Zealand.

The lockdown means people must remain indoors, non-essential businesses will close, schools are shut, and travel is severely limited.

“If everyone reduces down their contacts, stays at home, that’s one less person that’s at risk of picking it up who’s less likely to pass it on to three other people and then three other people and then three other people – which is roughly the transmission rate,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told The AM Show on Tuesday.

State of emergency declared

As of 12.21pm a state of national emergency has been declared. The declaration was made by Peeni Henare, the minster responsible for Civil Defence. “The state of national emergency has been declared because of the unprecedented nature of this global pandemic and to ensure the government has all the powers it needs to slow the spread of Covid-19 and reduce its impact,” said Sarah Stuart-Black, the director of Civil Defence emergency management.

She said an emergency mobile alert will be sent to all New Zealanders tonight at some point between 6pm and 7pm.