Alert level decision today

Today Cabinet will make a decision on whether to lower us to Covid Alert Level 2 or not. That will be announced at a 4 pm news conference.

There seems to be a growing public desire to loosen the restrictions after 6 weeks in fairly strict lockdown, with an increasing number of people going on walks and doing other activities in sometimes quite crowded public situations.

The revised rules for Level 2 were announced last week – see Alert Level 2 information.

But there is some talk of the need to strengthen some of the restrictions, and to phase in the change to level 2. From NZ Herald: Cabinet meets to decide if New Zealand is ready for alert level 2

If Cabinet decides the country is ready to come out of level 3, New Zealand could move to alert level 2 as early as Wednesday.

That’s misleading. 11:59 pm on Wednesday is effectively Thursday for everyone.

And if level 2 is greenlighted, one of the country’s top epidemiology experts says the Government should consider making masks on public transport compulsory.

“This would give us another line of defence,” Otago University epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker said.

Baker supported a phased approach to level 2.

“Thinking logically, you might begin with the most controlled environments, like workplaces and schools, where risk can be minimised.”

Then, once officials are sure level 2 was showing signs of success, the Government could loosen restrictions on places like bars and nightclubs, he said.

But the Level 2 rules have already been announced. If they were changed again, and in effect a level 2.5 was introduced, that would be confusing and would be likely to be even more ignored than the current Level 3.

He told Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking today that complacency and rule-breaking were common right now.

They would become more common if they start dicking around with Level 2 rules at this stage.

Losoening restrictions to soon or too fast do raise the risks of Covid re-establishing itself. The virus has proven to spread quickly and easily.

But if the Government decides to keep us in Level 3 for longer they risk losing the support of the public, who willingly did the level 4 lockdown thing in the interests of their safety and public safety, but now Covid looks to be under control and very low risk to nearly everyone it will be hard for even Jacinda Ardern to convince people of the need not to relax some more.

We will find out this afternoon, but I think that Government would have to have a much stringer and more specific reason to not lower the lockdown level than “we must stay the course for another week (or two)” and other overused phrases.

This sort of headline won’t help keep the public on side: Alert levels two and three could be in place for ‘moderate amount of time’ – obviously that’s possible, especially level 2, but talk of an extended period on level 3 is unlikely to be popular.

Leave a comment

19 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  11th May 2020

    Masks on public transport’s probably not a bad idea. I used to get very few colds & haven’t had flu for years (I get an annual flu shot tho). But man I used to hate sitting on the unit coming home next to someone with a streabig doze who was sneezing ad koffig all the tibe.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  11th May 2020

      *sdeezig

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  11th May 2020

        Don’t use public transport. Up here that’s quite a forced choice except perhaps for the passenger ferry if you can’t sit outside. But most locals use the car ferry 99% of the time.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  11th May 2020

          Commuter train services in Welly are frequent, reliable, efficient & cheap, Al. My station’s 7 minutes walk away. Saves petrol & wear & tear on the car.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  11th May 2020

            Yes, I know Wellington runs on it like nowhere else in the country. Its only alternative option is “work from home”.

            Reply
    • Pink David

       /  11th May 2020

      I do wonder why people don’t see the folly of masks. If they do the job they are claimed too, don’t they see the problems that comes with that? Medical professionals have no excuse for not understanding this.

      Reply
      • Griff

         /  11th May 2020

        Masks have one use
        They stop manky germ spreaders breathing their infections on others
        You have a problem with this?

        Reply
        • Pink David

           /  11th May 2020

          Yes. It’s a fundamental of virology. People spreading their manky germs is important and valuable.

          Without it you will kill people. Your ignorance of this is quite staggering.

          Of course, we can judge just how important this is to you. I’m willing to bet a substantial sum that you have never worn a mask in public prior to Covid, well, unless it was to hid your identity. You have been a manky germ spreader your entire life.

          Reply
  2. Fight4nz

     /  11th May 2020

    “But if the Government decides to keep us in Level 3 for longer they risk losing the support of the public, who willingly did the level 4 lockdown thing in the interests of their safety and public safety”
    Agree. They have pushed it not making any move by end of last week.

    Reply
  3. Zedd

     /  11th May 2020

    I saw a news item on TV3, it looks like some folks already think we are at Lvl2.. Police breaking up parties, where ‘several bubbles’ were together & ‘social distancing’ was left at the door !
    Perhaps folks need to be reminded, that covid19 is still ‘lurking in the shadows’ & now is not the time to ignore it.. thinking its history :/

    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  11th May 2020

      [Deleted, this appears to be a personal dig if not attack.]

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  11th May 2020

        [Deleted, this appears to be a personal dig if not attack.]

        Good god. I was giving Zedd helpful advice to deliver on his desire.

        “Perhaps folks need to be reminded, that covid19 is still ‘lurking in the shadows’”

        He feels the need for this, and it seems to me there would be no better way for his to achieve this desire than for him to dress as a plague doctor and wander around the neighborhood reminding people of the ‘lurking in the shadows’.

        He could even ring a bell as he walked.

        Reply
        • I don’t want posting pictures depicting commenters. It can (and has been) a way of trying to get around the ‘no personal attack’ rule. What may seem in jest to some can seem quite different to others, especially the target. And even if relatively harmless it easily escalates (and does). So no images or name calling are necessary limits to avoid things getting messy and nasty. It benefits everyone.

          Reply
        • Pink, that was lepers who rang bells and cried ‘Unclean !’ (supposedly)

          Reply
    • Zedd, to be fair,3 news did say that most of the so-called parties were people celebrating en famille rather than with others and only 50 warnings or whatever it was were given.

      Reply

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