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Speaking at the half-way point today, Jacinda Ardern said the month-long lockdown was not going to be shortened, despite rapidly dropping numbers of new cases.
Twenty-nine new Covid-19 cases were announced today, the lowest number since March 23, before the lockdown began.
The new cases are made up of 23 confirmed and six probable cases.
The number of cases in the Southern District Health Board area has climbed to 200, but only five new cases were announced today.
Ms Ardern said that next week she would outline what life would look like at Alert Level 3, and a decision would be made on lifting the lockdown on April 20.
"If we are ready to move to Alert Level 3, business we will have two days to implement arrangements.
"But let me say again, we will not be moving out of Level 4 early. If we move to early, we will go backwards."
There had been no decision yet whether Parliament could sit under Level 3, she said.
Different alert levels might apply to different educational levels such as ECE, and there would be more detail next week.
Halfway through the lockdown, Ms Ardern said Kiwis had saved lives through their actions.
"What New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, Kiwis have quietly and collectively implemented a nationwide wall of defence," she said.
"We are on track to meet their most optimistic scenario. We are turning a corner. But to succeed, we need it to keep working.
"This is going to be a marathon."