Cabinet decision on Covid-19 lockdown level today

Cabinet will be meeting from this morning to decide whether the Covid lockdown level should remain at 4 or lower to 3. The decision will be announced at 4 pm.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has made it clear Government intends to be cautious in lowering the level, despite growing pressure to allow businesses who had to shut down to crank up again, albeit with limits as Level 3 is still quite restrictive. Under level 3 businesses will have to prove they are safe to operate, and most shops and all cafes, restaurants and bars will remain closed.

RNZ: Will we leave level 4 this week?

Ardern recognised the huge toll on business in particular, but said it was in everyone’s interest to stamp out the virus

She stood by the decision to put New Zealand into lockdown and said the success so far was due to having a plan, sticking to the plan and doing it together.

“We have stayed home, we have saved lives and we are breaking the chain of transmission.”

But the government would be moving “cautiously” as it considered what the next step should be, said Ardern.

“No one wants to lose the huge gains we’ve made as a country off the back of the hard work of every New Zealander.”

Cabinet would have to be satisfied it was “unlikely” the virus wasn’t spreading or going undetected, along with strong border and quarantine controls, and the ability to contact trace and test.

We will have to wait until this afternoon to find out what the Government decision is.

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29 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  20th April 2020

    I will be amazed if it is not to go to Level 3 by the end of the month at least. I think tolerance is ending.

    Reply
  2. Duker

     /  20th April 2020

    Two different countries in Europe both at 10 mill people took very different Covid 19 restrictions. And very different results from a early choice of extreme lockdown like NZ was Greece. And as is well known Sweden with only some restrictions.

    Current total deaths (Apr 16) and projected max by Jun 1 ( on graphs include future high and low values)

    Sweden 1,333 and 5650 https://covid19.healthdata.org/sweden

    Greece 105 and 119 https://covid19.healthdata.org/greece

    They dont have NZ modeled , but we have half the population of Greece and did similar early strong lockdown

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  20th April 2020

      It’s a marathon not a sprint. In a year’s time we will find out who won and who is still begging for handouts.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  20th April 2020

        Business selling non essential items will be gone.
        Crony Capitalism never sleeps……give us money or…..lose jobs..will be the default threat.

        NZ will come out of it a …better place unless the Nats regain control of the exchequer.

        Reply
      • Blazer

         /  20th April 2020

        shed a tear for commercial landlords…Al…
        ‘He said landlords needed more support from the government.
        “They’ve taken a huge impact themselves on their own businesses… there’s a bit of a myth that they’re all big businesses with huge assets and that is the case in some places, but they’re also family trusts, charities, they have payroll, their own expenses and mortgages to pay… they’re hurting too.”
        The Property Council agreed, saying the government measures so far would not be enough to cushion the blow for the $145 billion commercial property sector.’—RNZ.

        Reply
  3. David

     /  20th April 2020

    I love Judith Collins quote “level 3 is just level 4 with KFC”.
    There really isnt a huge amount of difference except more people back at work the rest of ones life is still locked down so all this political drama is a sideshow.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  20th April 2020

      Judith Collins still telling bulls%$# even after all these years.

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  20th April 2020

      The guts of it is that Level 4 was the deployment of fear to overcome common sense.

      Level 3 is the ultimate surrender to common sense and the acknowledgement that safety trumps arbitrary essential as good policy.

      Reply
      • David

         /  20th April 2020

        I think it unnecessarily risks more job losses than stops the almost stopped virus. I think this government is quite enjoying the queue of people begging to be allowed to get back to work, they are quite enjoying the media hanging off their every word.
        The maths Peters is doing is probably more pertinent, at the moment Ardern is being lauded by all but in 4 months time when the dole queues get long with no sign of improvement and the deficits getting worse as the virus disappears in people consciousness as the Northern hemisphere go through their summer people will revisit and ask if the lockdown was too brutal and too long.
        Peters spends time with people in business on a personal level and Ardern should listen to him, its probably better than reading yet another treasury report that will be wildly inaccurate but with such wide parameters its meaningless.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  20th April 2020

          ‘ I think this government is quite enjoying the queue of people begging to be allowed to get back to work, they are quite enjoying the media hanging off their every word.’

          quite disgraceful allegations there David…I can only assume your squeeze is with holding matrimonial obligations while she is experiencing all these ….bad hair days.

          Reply
          • David

             /  20th April 2020

            “quite disgraceful allegations” and then you follow up with that personal comment.
            Ardern is clearly enjoying herself, she really enjoys writing speech,s and she clearly spends hours and hours and hours with hers prepping, re writing and practicing. She is getting to hang out with her parents and her friends and partner without really having to worry about all that much at all. Shut the country down and write a huge cheque…she is probably freaked out about how to run the place when it re opens in straightened circumstances. Thats when the scrutiny will start and there are few places to hide her big blind spot..the economy and she has few in cabinet to step up and help her.

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  20th April 2020

              wildly inaccurate,partisan nonsense.No wonder your wife won’t iron your shirts these days ;)…

              Ardern has Robertson and Parker to call on…National has no one to match those 2…plus the talent of the Clark administration is available for guidance if required.

        • artcroft

           /  20th April 2020

          The pain hasn’t arrived but it will, and the press, ever a weather vane, will flip without a blink to sing a very different tune.

          Reply
          • Griff.

             /  20th April 2020

            All the world will go though the coming recession lock down or not .My work supplying the building industry had already seen a drop in orders of over 50% the weeks before a lock down was announced.
            NZ’s tourism and restaurant industry’s would still have been screwed even if we tried a Sweden.

            The real metric will be life expectancy over the next few years as we find out which country’s swapped granny’s life for a handful of dollars.

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  20th April 2020

              Greece is expected to peak its death toll very soon with an an early and hard lockdown going from around 105 to in the 120s.
              Sweden however with looser restrictions will take far longer and its current death toll could peak at 4x the current number
              Both are 10 mill people.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  20th April 2020

              And after Greece hits its peak and climbs back down, then what? The disease continues to gently stroll through the remaining country paralyzed by continuing lockdown for the next year leaving the country and its people slowly dying of coronavirus and starvation.

              Meanwhile Sweden has never stopped working and producing and the Greeks are begging them to help.

            • Duker

               /  20th April 2020

              Well Greece comes out of lockdown as the toast of Europe … and their tourist industry is revived early as Italy , Spain are ignored by travellors for some time. Thats the glossy picture

              Meanwhile Sweden grinds on, locked away from the rest of Europe as their death toll doubles and doubles again.
              Swedens daily death toll of maybe 25-30 now means in 4 days they exceed Greeces entire deaths.

              But of course when decisions were made no one really knew all the answers, but Greece can now look at ending lockdown, wheile Sweden is no stuck and hopeful the lower estimates come true and 4x current deaths occurs and not 5x or worse

  4. Lifting lockdown: Long weekend breaks ‘a risky thing to do’ – virus modeller

    Of course it’s a risk. But there is no option with no risk.

    The difficulty with moving to alert level 3 was that the country had not been there before and there was a chance the reproduction rate could rise above 1 (person being infected by each positive case) which would mean a move back into alert level 4 or ramping up testing and tracing and case isolation.

    Although the reproduction rate is below 1, it was a case of deciding how long the country could wait before being sure it was on the way to being eliminated, Hendy said.

    “It would make sense to delay lifting the lockdown as we know level 4 works.

    “If it was up to me, I’d be leaning towards taking a little bit longer, make sure those numbers were heading to zero, and that would be the approach I would suggest.

    “We can’t right at the moment say we’ve eliminated the disease; we’re still seeing cases daily and we’d really need to see those cases drop down to zero…”

    I don’t think we will ever be able to say we have eliminated it.

    He said his team has run some scenarios and it emerged that taking another two weeks in lockdown was the safest option and would ensure people stayed home over the long Anzac weekend at the end of this month.

    But Hendry is looking at it from a health modeling viewpoint. Cabinet has to consider the wider social and economic implications as well, and also wider health implications beyond Covid.

    Reply
    • David

       /  20th April 2020

      If we shut down for another 6 months I bet his model would look absolutely amazing.
      Does his model take into account that aside from a couple of cases all the new ones in the last week have been from existing clusters that have been newly discovered. We are for all intents and purposes at zero community transmission.
      Has he looked at Australia which is real world situation not a model.

      Reply
    • Duker

       /  20th April 2020

      PG you reported the RNZ ‘news’ the other day that one person had tested positive in a semi random test of 350 at Queenstown PaknSave
      They were incorrect and none tested positive
      “If the true rate is 0.1% there’s a good chance we’ll see a community-positive test soon; if it’s 0.01%, not for a while. And if we’re really at the level of eliminating community transmission, even longer.”
      https://www.statschat.org.nz/2020/04/18/prevalence-estimation-is-it-out-there/

      Reply
      • Yes but that was incorrect, a later post had the correct nil negative response. The Auckland random tests have now all come back negative, which as far as I’m aware makes all the random tests done around the country negative. That has to be a good sign.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  20th April 2020

          It won’t be a good sign until the number of these random tests gets to be tens of thousands rather than one thousand as I pointed out yesterday.

          Reply

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