Minister Jacinda Ardern and director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield have announced that restrictions on social gatherings will be eased.
Cabinet has decided to increase the size limit on all gatherings from 10 to 100 and it will consider a move to Alert level 1 in four weeks.
"What we are going to need over the next couple of weeks is a little bit more patience before we see what happens at level 2 and whether we really do have the virus under control,” said Dr Siouxsie Wiles.
“There is so much evidence from overseas that if you relax a level too quickly then you see a spike in cases, so we need to be really mindful of that."
Ardern has explained that the government’s view is that the country should move as quickly and safely as possible to Alert Level 1 without losing any gains. On that basis, Cabinet would check on the Level 2 settings again on June 8 and agreed to decide on whether to move to Level 1, no later than June 22.
“If we continue to see a low number or no cases, then we will be in a position to look to move from that point,” said Ardern.
There have been no new cases attributable to the more relaxed restrictions at Level 2 which was the basis of the cabinet decision to allow gatherings of 100 people.
At this stage, seating and social distancing requirements would still be in place hospitality venues, so no dancing would be permitted at bars and nightclubs.
New Zealand has moved out of lockdown faster than other countries.
“We have already opened our bars. Across the ditch, that's not even on the horizon," noted Ardern.
The Prime Minister also noted, however, that Kiwis needed to continue with the level of vigilance that got them to this point. She warned that other countries continued to have cases grow in the global pandemic and that overseas Kiwis were still coming home.
New Zealand will not move to Alert Level 1 unless the director-general of health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, was confident.