Pauline Davies, Fee Langstone, New Zealand
New Zealand went into full lockdown at 11.59pm on Wednesday, 25 March. Everyone is required to stay at the address where they spent the night of 25 March for the next four weeks, with the government indicating that the period could extend for longer, depending on the extent to which the virus appears to have been contained. A state of national emergency has also been declared, to give the Police additional powers for enforcement of the lockdown. Leaving home is only permitted for those working in a small range of essential services, mainly supermarkets and healthcare, and for those visiting such a service, although there are some limited exceptions such as for exercise or walking a dog.
The ports remain open but are becoming congested because only essential supplies are able to be moved away, with other businesses being closed and not able to receive their consignments. The freight and logistics industries have called on the government to find a solution to this.
With New Zealand’s borders having been closed since 19 March to all people who are not New Zealand citizens or permanent residents, and with the borders of many other countries being closed also, the amount of air traffic has plummeted. Air New Zealand is now the only airline flying between Air New Zealand and Australia, on a much-reduced service of seven return flights per week and is only flying 11 international routes in total. The government has issued a “do not travel” advisory.
Domestic passenger services will cease at 11.59pm on 27 March and are now being used only by persons who are returning to their place of lockdown in any event.
The courts remain open as an essential service but the only cases that will be heard during the lockdown are those that affect the liberty of the individual or their personal safety and well-being, or those that are time-critical. There are restrictions on who can enter a court building. Online and phone hearings are being substituted for in-person hearings wherever possible, and other matters are being dealt with on the papers.