The Government is stepping in to help protect Air New Zealand from the turmoil caused by Covid-19, providing up to $900 million in loans; and $100 million is being relocated to redeploy workers in industries affected by Covid-19 with the Gisborne Tairāwhiti region, the first to be helped
1.The Government is stepping in to help protect Air New Zealand from the turmoil caused by Covid-19, providing up to $900 million in loans. The airline will be able to call on the loan if its cash reserves fall below an undisclosed level over the next two years, and the Government which already owns 52 percent of the company will have the ability to turn the loan into shares in the airline.
2.Air New Zealand shares resumed trading this morning after news of the bail out and the price fell heavily. The airline has been on a trading halt for most of the week as it worked through the financial hit from the Covid-9 virus
3.$100 million is being relocated to redeploy workers in industries affected by Covid-19 with the Gisborne Tairāwhiti region, the first to be helped. It will mean hundreds of workers will be found alternative jobs in the local area for the next three to six months.
4.The Reserve Bank has announced a range of measures to support New Zealand’s financial system. The measures included term loans to banks, agreement with the US Federal Reserve for access to up to $US30 billion, and intervening in markets to maintain stability.
5.People are changing their travel plans as border closures are announced in numerous countries. Auckland Airport was still busy this morning with people rushing back to the country and out of it.
6.An Auckland woman trying to get home from London, says she was not allowed to board her Singapore Airlines flight today because check-in staff insisted New Zealand had closed its borders.
7.Coronavirus has killed more people in Italy than in any other country, after deaths there rose by 427 in a day. The number of deaths now stands at 3,405, which is more than in China where the virus originated last year. There have been 3,245 reported deaths in China, but there have been questions over the reliability of its data.
8.The Queen has made her first public statement on the crisis, saying people around the world are entering a period of great concern and uncertainty.
9.Hospitals in Rotorua and Taupo are asking visitors to stay away unless they are visiting patients who are critically unwell or dieing.
10.Libraries, pools and recreation centres in Auckland will close for two weeks due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Making the announcement this afternoon, Mayor Phil Goff said the decision was made with regret, but it was both important and necessary. The art gallery and Maritime Museum will also be closed for at least two weeks.
11.Wellington and Auckland are planning to remove cash sales on public transport to reduce the risk of spreading the Covid-19 coronavirus. Greater Wellington Regional Council chair Daran Ponter told RNZ’s Morning Report only about 10 percent of bus users in the region used cash, and would from Monday be offered Snapper cards with $5 loaded on if they tried to continue to do so.
12.The University of Auckland will be suspending teaching across the university next week due to Covid-19 fears. The university said students will not be required to come into campus, but that if they want to they can.
13.A Government document shows schools around the country will be closed down in the event of community transmission of the coronavirus. Appropriate responses to any Covid-19 cases have been outlined for early learning centres and schools.
14.The SPCA is urging pet owners to have a plan for caring for them amid the coronavirus pandemic. There is no evidence pets can infect humans with Covid-19 and the SPCA says people should not abandon them.
15.A judge has told the jury it must be sure two people intentionally lit fires in Tinder Dry Tasman region. Benjamin Durrant and Abigail Page are accused of lighting a fire on the side of Moutere Highway in late February last year.
16.In Christchurch, noise complaints about the police eagle helicopters have skyrocketed. The five week trial of the helicopter in Christchurch ends today and the region’s top officer wants it to become a permanent feature in the city.
17.Radio stations around Europe and the UK are planning a simultaneous broadcast of the song You’ll Never Walk Alone as a show of unity amid the coronavirus pandemic.