‘I will not risk the gains we have made’ - PM

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the government is prepared to remain at Alert Level 3 for longer than two weeks if that is required.

New Zealand is set to move to alert level 3 at 11.59pm tonight, reducing restrictions on businesses and schooling.

Speaking at today's media conference, where the Health Ministry revealed there is just one new confirmed case of COVID-19, Jacinda says the country has "avoided the worst", but she's not prepared to jeopardise New Zealand's gains by moving to alert level two too early.

"We can only do this if we all continue to pull together, and secondly, I will not risk the gains we have made and the health of New Zealanders so if we have to remain at level 3, we will."

Jacinda says earlier modelling from Professor Shaun Hendy showed New Zealand could have faced up to 1000 new cases per day if measures were not taken.

"We will never know what would actually have happened without our level four restrictions, but we can look overseas and see that this devastating scenario has played out in many other countries."

She says there is no widespread community transmission now in New Zealand and "we have won that battle", but the country needs to hunt down the last few cases of the virus.

Follow the latest updates on the Covid-19 coronavirus with RNZ's live blog:

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