New Zealanders are bracing for four weeks of house-bound life and a ban on non-essential travel, with a coronavirus lockdown needed to save “tens of thousands” of lives, says the Prime Minister; and major decisions impacting Wellington will be in the hands of a skeleton crew of city councillors as New Zealand heads into lockdown to halt the spread of coronavirus.
* The New Zealand Herald
In the New Zealand Herald, history will consider this one of the most pivotal moments in our nationhood: We are in lockdown as we collectively fight Covid-19. Today is not a day for fear. Instead, it is a day for courage and compassion; a day when we must commit to come together for the benefit of our nation and our population of almost five million.
In other news, New Zealanders are bracing for four weeks of house-bound life and a ban on non-essential travel, with a coronavirus lockdown needed to save “tens of thousands” of lives, says the Prime Minister.
In business news, Privacy Commissioner John Edwards says the health authorities have the green light to track coronavirus-infected people’s movements via data collected by their mobile phone companies.
* The Dominion Post
In the Dominion Post, temporary visa holders may face long waits for answers from Immigration New Zealand about visa queries. The agency has been inundated with calls and emails after the Government closed borders to everyone except New Zealand citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families on Thursday.
In other news, major decisions impacting Wellington will be in the hands of a skeleton crew of city councillors as New Zealand heads into lockdown to halt the spread of coronavirus. Wellington City Council held an urgent meeting on Monday, following Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s escalation of the country’s pandemic response to Alert Level Four, essentially putting the public into lockdown for at least four weeks.
In business news, as the country moves towards lockdown under coronavirus threat level four councils around the Wellington region will be maintaining only essential services. That means all council run facilities such as pools and libraries will be unavailable.
* The Press
In The Press, the parents of university students desperately trying to get home before quarantine restrictions are imposed have called on Air New Zealand and the Government to schedule additional flights. Students faced the dilemma of staying in their halls of residence possibly for weeks or attempting to return home, following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday that schools and universities are to close.
In other news, public toilets will be shut, buses cancelled and people asked to stay away from playgrounds in Christchurch as the city council steps up its efforts to protect the public amid the deepening coronavirus crisis.
In business news, property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer as long-term rentals instead. New Zealand’s tourism industry has come to a standstill as the country responds to the spread of coronavirus.