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PM to discuss trans-Tasman bubble with Australia

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern provided an update on the Government’s response to COVID-19 this afternoon. 

Jacinda confirmed she will appear at Australia’s Cabinet meeting tomorrow via video link to discuss creation of a trans-Tasman bubble. 

“One key aspect of our plan to get New Zealand moving is the work on the trans-Tasman bubble. 

"The meeting will discuss a range of matters in relation to the COVID response on both sides of the Tasman including the creation of a trans-Tasman travel bubble."

The trans-Tasman bubble will allow New Zealanders and Australians to travel between both countries without having to quarantine. 

Jacinda says this won’t be happening in the short-term. “Don’t expect this to happen in a couple of weeks.” 

“Both our countries' strong record on fighting the virus has placed us in the enviable position of being able to plan the next stage in the economic rebuild." 

She will provide more information following the meeting tomorrow. 

Jacinda says today Cabinet discussed what alert level 2 would like. She will announce specific details on Thursday. 

“This will provide clarity and certainty and give people time to prepare.” 

But she says that no decision has been made on moving out of alert level 3 at this stage. 

Cabinet will decide next Monday, May 11 on whether or not the country will stay at alert level 3. 

Jacinda reminded New Zealanders to "stay the course" at level 3.  

"We cannot afford to squander the good work to date when our end goal is close and within reach." 

Earlier: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will update the public on the Government’s response to COVID-19 this afternoon. 

She will be speaking live from the Beehive at 4pm. 

There are no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 to report today.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says these numbers are encouraging, but warns this is only one point in time.

He says one probable case already known to them has now been reclassified as a confirmed case.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 1137. However, the total number of confirmed and probable cases remains at 1487, no change on yesterday.

Ashley says there are no additional deaths to report today.

A total of 1276 people have recovered from the virus.

"This is 10 more than yesterday and accounts for 86 per cent of our total cases.

"Seven people remain in hospital. None are in ICU

"There are still 16 significant clusters. Three of which have now been closed."

Ashley says while these numbers are encouraging, they still need to wait to see what the numbers will do towards the end of the week.

He says the incubation period of the virus is around five days, so towards the end of the week will be the telling point of if there are any transmissions during alert level 3.

"We are wanting to be sure there is no new cases out in the community. Reflecting on the incubation of this virus, it is towards the end of the week where we will see if there are any new cases."

He says until they know for certain, it is important New Zealand remains in alert level 3 for the full two weeks.

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