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But there are encouraging signs for New Zealand, a nation that is now into its 11th day of lockdown, with at least three more weeks to go.
"It may well be [Covid-19] is peaking now because we're seeing it flattening off," Director-General of Health Ashely Bloomfield told reporters yesterday.
It comes as both the United Kingdom and the United States have recorded their deadliest days of the coronavirus pandemic so far.
In the UK, another 708 deaths were reported on Saturday as people were told to stay inside despite warm, sunny weather. The youngest victim was a five-year-old child.
In the US, more than 1000 people died in just one day, raising its total death toll to 7163. More than 30,000 new cases were also confirmed for the first time, pushing its total number of infections above 273,000.
Meanwhile, Europe's strict lockdown measures appear to be taking effect, with promising new figures coming out of Spain and Italy.
More than one million cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed across 181 countries and more than 60,000 people have died.
New Zealand announced 82 new and probable cases on Saturday, bringing our total cases to 950. This is encouraging news, as one of the prerequisites for coming out of the level four lockdown is fewer new confirmed cases across the country.
Kiwis had previously been advised not to take part in these activities during the Covid-19 lockdown but the ban was made official in fresh laws released on the Government's Covid-19 website.
The new Health Notice:
• Everyone in New Zealand is to be isolated or quarantined at their current place of residence except as permitted for essential personal movement;
• Exercise is to be done in an outdoor place that can be readily accessed from home and two-metre physical distancing must be maintained;
• Recreation and exercise does not involve swimming, water-based activities (for example, surfing or boating), hunting, tramping, or other activities of a kind that expose participants to danger or may require search and rescue services;
• A child can leave the residence of one joint care-giver to visit or stay at the residence of another joint care-giver (and visit or stay at that residence) if there is a shared bubble arrangement;
• A person can leave their residence to visit or stay at another residence (and visit or stay at that residence) under a shared bubble arrangement if:
• One person lives alone in one, or both, of those residences; or
• Everyone in one of those residences is a vulnerable person.
Police Commissioner Andrew Coster welcomed the guidance and said police's primary goal was to ensure people understood the importance of staying home.
"The vast majority of New Zealanders have a high level of awareness of what they can and can't do under the Alert Level 4 restrictions, and by and large people are doing a tremendous job," he said.
"We want people to stay safe, but if a small number of people persist in deliberately flouting the restrictions, police will have the discretion to warn or, if necessary, to arrest.
"The Health Notice makes it clear what types of outdoor exercise and recreation people shouldn't do.
"Outside of that, we are asking people to stay local, apply common sense and not do anything that could risk exposure to injury or require search and rescue services."
Coster said the public should not notice any "significant change to policing as we continue to prioritise high visibility reassurance to the community, and a continued focus on day-to-day police work".
"I have recently set a clear expectation of our staff on how we police in the current environment. We have updated our operational guidelines to staff, to help them police with confidence and certainty," he said.
Bloomfield is scheduled to brief Cabinet sometime within the next week about the factors which would be required to move the country, or at least some parts of it, out of level four.