Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced New Zealand will shut down in response to the community transmission of coronavirus, in two days time.
The most severe response, level 4 of the country’s Covid-19 threat system, was announced by Ardern on Monday afternoon.
Schools will close from Tuesday, non-essential businesses will shutter, and travel around the country will be “severely limited”.
The community transmission of coronavirus in New Zealand had Ardern, during a press conference on Monday afternoon, announce the country had moved to level 3, and would prepare to enter level 4.
This means all New Zealanders are instructed to stay at home until public health officials can grapple with the virus – expected to be four weeks.
Supermarkets, Pharmacies, medical centers and other essential services will remain open.
Cafes, restaurants, museums and other public gathering places will be closed.
Ardern said the measures would save thousands of lives, despite the unprecedented social and economic disruption it will cause.
“We are all now preparing to go into self-isolation … It will help give our healthcare system a fighting chance.
“The trajectory is very clear, act now, or risk the virus taking hold, as it had elsewhere We currently have 102 cases, but so did Italy once.