New Zealand reportedly sent emergency text alerts to the mobile phones reminding its citizens that the country was hitting level 4 of the coronavirus pandemic at midnight. Phone screens around New Zealand lit up at 6:30pm as of March 25 with the message service. "This message is for all of New Zealand. We are depending on you".
The text message further appealed, "Follow the rules and STAY HOME. Act as if you have COVID-19. This will save lives”. It urged, “Remember: Where you stay tonight is where YOU MUST stay from now on. You must only be in physical contact with those you are living with.” Prime Minister Jacinda Arden announced at a press conference to send New Zealand into an unprecedented lockdown. She announced a state of emergency at 12.21pm on March 25, after the Epidemic Preparedness (Epidemic Management— COVID-19) Notice 2020 was agreed by parliament on March 25, a report confirmed.
Ardern told parliament that midnight onwards, the country bunkers down for four weeks to try and stop the virus in its tracks and to break the chain. She further added saying that the New Zealander must make no mistake that the crisis was going to get worse before it got better. The country would have a lag and cases will spike for the next week or so, she added. The country aimed to seize on a "window of opportunity" to contain COVID-19.
According to reports, Military personnel and the police force will be deployed to enforce nationwide self-isolation under the unprecedented restrictions. Schools and non-essential businesses were instructed to shutter with immediate effect, public transport and air travel were declared suspended as the government ramped up public coronavirus advisory to the maximum level starting tomorrow. The drastic containment measures have been formulated by the NZ health experts and were supported by all political parties in New Zealand.