Cabinet will make its decision on Monday May 11 about when the country will be moving down to Alert Level 2.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has made it clear that New Zealanders will likely have two days notice before entering Level 2.

“We've always made the decisions on the Monday so they can take effect on a Wednesday," said Ardern.

The drop in level would be determined by the number of COVID-19 cases, and the preparedness of all aspects of the health response. 

"Really specifically though for levels 3 and 2, what we want to look at is: 'Do we have cases where we can't tell where they've come from?' Because that's an indication of potential community transmission,” Ardern explained.

"If we cannot conclude that, and we have too many of those cases, then that's cause for concern.”

The Government's COVID-19 website says under Level 2 the disease is contained, but the risk of community transmission remains.

All businesses and public facilities will be allowed to open with one metre social distance maintained and public health measures in place. Businesses will be encouraged to use shift-based working, physical distancing, and flexible leave where possible, as well as stagger employee meal breaks.

Under the initial guide, gatherings of up to 100 people indoors and 500 outdoors are allowed while maintaining physical distancing and contact tracing requirements. However, the government has said it was taking a closer look and may decide they are still not allowed at Level 2. Health services are expected to operate as normally as possible.

People at high risk of severe illness (older people and those with existing medical conditions) will be encouraged to stay at home at Level 2 where possible. However, they are allowed to work at Level 2. They are also encouraged to take additional precautions when leaving home.

Alternative ways of working for all Kiwis is still encouraged, such as remote working.

The current state of emergency order was extended on Tuesday, to expire at 12.21pm on Wednesday May 13. This can be extended again, or cancelled, at any time.

Visit the official government COVID-19 website here.

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