New Zealand's (NZ) coronavirus alert system has been at level three and will be raised to level four in 48 hours, said the country's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a televised address to the nation.
Over the course of the coming 48 hours, the country would espouse the most severe response, level four of New Zealand's COVID-19 response system, according to Adren. Essential services, including supermarkets, health care, service stations and media, will remain in place. "It is huge. And I know it will feel daunting", she said.
"We don't want to get to a place where we need to enforce these instructions, but we will if required", Mr Bush told reporters.
The number of coronavirus cases in New Zealand rose above 100 on Monday as the country reported 36 new infections amid growing pressure on the government to further tighten restrictions to contain the outbreak.
She urged New Zealanders to follow self-isolation rules and support each other.
Ms Ardern said, "We were facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus... but we did have a small window to get ahead of it". New Zealand has already closed its borders to foreigners. Schools will close entirely from midnight on Wednesday.
Workplaces should have everyone working from home.
New Zealand's bourse reacted immediately to the announcement plunging 10 per cent to biggest intraday percentage drop ever.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) announced quantitative easing earlier as it made a decision to buy up NZ$30 billion (€16 billion) worth of government bonds to offset the impact of the coronavirus.
He said the government will expand its wage subsidy scheme to all affected businesses, lifting the cost to NZ$9.3 billion ($5.2 billion) from NZ$5.1 billion, to ensure all workers receive some form of income during the lockdown.
"The sheer magnitude of New Zealanders who travel meant that would not have been possible nor in a way that I believe we could've guaranteed that we didn't have an example of the Diamond Princess on soil where you have a spread".
It remains to be seen whether the New Zealand election can be held on September 19 as planned.
However, Ardern said there was nothing to suggest that confirmed cases in self-isolation were not adhering to rules because they all acknowledged the seriousness of it.