New Zealand will move from COVID-19 Alert Level 4 to Alert Level 3 at on April 27, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday.

The country will stay in Alert Level 3 for two weeks before a further review and Alert Level decision on May 11, Xinhua news agency reported citing Ardern as saying at a press conference.

"Going hard and early to stamp out the virus, backed by an effort of 5 million New Zealanders to break the chain of transmission, means together we have helped stop the uncontrolled explosion of COVID-19 in New Zealand," Ardern said.

Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern
Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern Reuters

The director-general advised the reopening

On the recommendation of the director-general of health, who believed there is currently no widespread undetected community transmission, Ardern said they were able to take a balanced approach in transitioning through alert levels and restarting the economy.

"The sacrifices made to date have been huge," Ardern said.

She said at Level 3, there are about 400,000 more New Zealanders returning to work, with key sectors such as construction, manufacturing and forestry starting up again.

Under Alert Level 3, children who can stay at home should stay at home.

Early learning centres and schools will physically be open for up to year 10 for families that need them, according to earlier announced rules.

New Zealand has reported 1,440 coronavirus cases, with 12 deaths.