New Zealand’s Covid-19 alert level has risen to three and the country will go into a full lockdown in 48 hours, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed.

After 48 hours, the time required to ensure essential services are in place, and the country will move to level four and will remain at that level for four weeks, Ardern said.

The country now has 102 confirmed Covid-19 cases and the Ministry of Health says the virus is spreading in the community.

Ardern warned the lockdown could be extended for longer if the spread of the virus was not brought under control.

“This will literally save lives, thousands of lives.”

She said all of NZ must prepare to go in self-isolation now to “break the chain” of community transmission.

Schools will be closed from tomorrow.

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