New Zealand lowered to Alert Level Three on Monday at 11:59 pm. It had previously declared a state of emergency and gone on lockdown March 25. Ardern fully stressed that despite the updated alert level, the country cannot yet return to "pre-COVID-19 life. That day will come but it is not here yet."
Under level three, people are still told to work from home "unless that is not possible," with the exception of essential workers, according to a government handout. The public is permitted to expand their interactions slightly from just their "household bubble," to include close family, caregivers or provide support to isolated individuals in their local area.
Retail, stores and restaurants may open if they do so safely, but they must do business solely through means of delivery, drive-through or contactless pick up, according to the handout. Supermarkets, pharmacies and food banks continue remain open.
The country will remain at Alert Level Three for two weeks, before the government reviews progress and issues further guidance.