Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the lockdown is running “as smoothly as could be expected at this time”.
She said it had been a remarkable feat to keep the streets empty.
She has thanked New Zealand’s frontline staff, including doctors, nurses and police, and said they had now been joined by new frontline staff, such as supermarket operators and service centre staff.
Ardern and Minister of Finance Grant Robertson are giving a media briefing on day one of the lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Watch the media conference live here:
As Covid-19 spreads around the world, it can be daunting keeping up with the information. For RNZ, our responsibility is to give you verified, up to the minute, trustworthy information to help you make decisions about your lives and your health. We’ll also be asking questions of officials and decision makers about how they’re responding to the virus. Our aim is to keep you informed.
The Finance Minister Grant Robertson says $1.5 billion has been paid out to more than 240,000 workers as part of the government’s Wage Subsidy scheme.
The scheme was set up by the government to support workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The $1.5b has gone to 244,887 workers. 72,913 applications have been paid out. 111,898 applications have been approved and about to be paid out, and 47,434 are to be processed.