Alert level 1 – no restrictions apart from strict border controls

Under ongoing pressure over no decision to move to Covid Alert Level; 1 until next week despite over a month (34 days) of no community transmission and no new cases fro twelve days, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced what Level 1 restrictions will look like when we do change levels.

There will be very little inn the way of personal or business restrictions within the country, but strict border controls and testing will stay in place. The obvious aim is to allow people, communities, businesses that haven’t shut down and employees who haven’t lost their jobs to get back to more or less life as normal, while trying to stop Covid from being reintroduced to the country via incoming travellers.

Unless there’s a significant return of cases it looks likely a level 1 announcement will be made next Monday and we will change on Wednesday night.

With virtually no Covid for nearly two weeks many people have more or less moved on from being restricted now anyway.

Businesses are still supposed to be adhering to strict number limits, social distancing and precautions. From what I’ve seen over the last week taverns and shops have hand cleaner, sign in sheets and procedures in place, but are fairly loose in some of their application of restrictions.

A big change will be to sport, with events allowed top proceed with unlimited spectators.

Today, Government agreed to what life at Alert Level 1 will look like for New Zealand and New Zealanders.

Alert Level 1 sees everyone being able to return without restriction to work, school, sports and domestic travel, and you can get together with as many people as you want.

Controls at the borders remain for those entering New Zealand, including health screening and testing for all arrivals, and mandatory 14-day managed quarantine or isolation.

It’s also important that we keep the basic hygiene measures that worked so well through higher Alert Levels going. These include washing your hands and coughing or sneezing into your elbow. Remember to remain vigilant and being aware of physical distancing when out and about amongst strangers is a good habit to keep.

We should all continue to keep track of where we’ve been and who we’ve seen to assist with rapid contact tracing if it is required. Businesses should assist customers to keep track of where they’ve been by displaying the Ministry of Health QR code.

This will be our new normal but, while we do return to pre-COVID life, we must remember we remain in a global pandemic.

Cabinet will decide on Monday 8 June whether and when to move to Alert Level 1.  Until then, Alert Level 2 measures apply.

The Golden Rules for everyone at Alert Level 1

  1. If you’re sick, stay home. Don’t go to work or school. Don’t socialise.
  2. If you have cold or flu symptoms call your doctor or Healthline and make sure you get tested.
  3. Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.
  4. Sneeze and cough into your elbow, and regularly disinfect shared surfaces.
  5. If you are told by health authorities to self-isolate you must do so immediately.
  6. If you’re concerned about your wellbeing, or have underlying health conditions, work with your GP to understand how best to stay healthy.
  7. Keep track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen to help contact tracing if needed. Use the NZ COVID Tracer app as a handy way of doing this.
  8. Businesses should help people keep track of their movements by displaying the Ministry of Health QR Code for contact tracing.
  9. Stay vigilant. There is still a global pandemic going on. People and businesses should be prepared to act fast to step up Alert Levels if we have to.
  10. People will have had different experiences over the last couple of months. Whatever you’re feeling — it’s okay. Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself.