The country, which has been in detention since March 25, has registered 1,039 confirmed cases, with one death. There are 15 people hospitalized with Covid-19, including three in intensive care.
While Jacinda Ardern said on Sunday that the four-week lockdown was slowing infections, authorities have released new guidelines that separate families and lovers who don’t live together.
The principles of self-isolation were previously vague, the Prime Minister asking New Zealanders to “apply common sense” and reduce their social group to “a small group of individuals who are part of your bubble … the bubble you need to maintain “for the month.
This largely meant households, but the non-specific language allowed families and partners who did not live together to see each other. However, the publication of a health law ordinance replaced the non-specific ordinance with explicit language and left no room for misinterpretation.
The ordinance does not allow fraternization between households with very limited exemptions; for shared custody, and when at least one partner lives alone. The end result is the criminalization of most relationships between Kiwis who do not live together.
New Zealand police have been contacted for comments on how they intend to enforce the ban.
During a Sunday afternoon briefing, Ardern congratulated those who respected the lockout, but said there were “still more people I would charitably call idiots,” citing a man in Christchurch who filmed coughing coughing.
Ardern said no decision had been made to extend the country’s four-week lockout, but there were signs that it was having an effect.
Modeling had suggested that without the restrictions, the country would have seen 4,000 cases by this weekend, instead of the 1,000 it had actually recorded, said Ardern. And even if it didn’t want to “draw too many conclusions,” New Zealand hadn’t seen the exponential growth of other countries.
“Going strong and leaving early seems to pay off for us,” she said.
“No decision has been made when we leave level four. The more people conform, the more we can get out of [lockdown] at the time we said it. Be proud of your efforts. It makes a difference. Now is the time to stay focused, not to give up, ”she said.
On Friday and Saturday, Ardern said police carried out 795 prevention patrols and 990 reinsurance checks in essential services.
Google data showed that New Zealanders took lockdown seriously, said Ardern, with retail and entertainment movements down 91%, visits to essential services down 50% and trips to parks down 80%.
By closing the borders 25 days after the first case, New Zealand acted much faster than other countries, she said, and the government’s first economic rescue plan was just as quick. Witnessing overseas trajectories has helped the government decide “to get strong and leave early,” said Ardern.
AAP contributed to this report