‘Kiwis go home’: New Zealand to go into month-long lockdown to fight coronavirus
Jacinda Ardern brings in the most significant restrictions on New Zealanders movements in modern history as cases rise past 100
New Zealand is preparing to enter a month-long nationwide lockdown from Wednesday night, with the entire country ordered to stay home apart from those in essential services.
On Monday the nation was given two days to prepare for schools, businesses and community services to turn off the lights in a desperate bid to stem the spread of the coronavirus. The move came after the number of cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand rose past 100.
In an address to the nation, the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said she was not willing to put the lives of her citizens in danger.
The worst-case scenario is simply intolerable, it would represent the greatest loss of New Zealanders lives in our history and I will not take that chance. Ardern announced the country would move to level three measures immediately, and then to four the highest level on Wednesday from 11.59pm.
I say to all New Zealanders: the government will do all it can to protect you. Now Im asking you to do everything you can to protect all of us. Kiwis go home.
The lockdown will last a month, and if the trend of cases slowed, could be partially eased in specific areas after that. Ardern said it was now established that community transmission was happening in New Zealand and that, if it took off, the number of cases would double every five days, with modelling advising the government that tens of thousands of New Zealanders could die.
The situation here is moving at pace, and so must we. The trajectory is very clear, act now or risk the virus taking hold as it has elsewhere.