On Wednesday 25th March 2020 at 11.59pm all New Zealanders have to follow the rules for the government’s Alert Level 4.
Alert Level 4 is put in place to stop the virus spreading by keeping most people at home for the next four weeks.
The virus will not be able to keep spreading if it can’t pass from one person to another. The Prime Minister has said that the Alert Level 4 will be in place for 4 weeks but may last longer if COVID-19 is not under control at the end of that period.
When we are at Level 4:
- Everyone has to stay at home except essential workers which may include health and disability support workers.
- If you are in the high-risk group (over 70 years old, have certain health conditions listed on the Ministry of Health website), stay at home and ask others to help you.
- Anyone going out in the community, including your support person, will need to keep physical distance from other people and follow good hygiene rules.
- Supermarkets, health services, and banks will be available but will change the way they provide their services.
- There will be no child care centres, schools or universities open.
- Shops will not be allowed to open unless they are needed.
- Cafes, restaurants, and bars will all close.
- Travel is only allowed in emergency situations.
- Non-urgent health services may be cancelled so that healthcare workers can help where they are needed.
This is a situation that no one in New Zealand has ever been in before. We know that you may be worried about how you will manage, but support is being put in place for those who most need it.
Remember, although you may not be able to have visitors at home, it is important to stay in touch with the people close to you. You can do this via phone or social media. The Ministry of Health will be providing regular updates specifically for those at risk.