Treasury has advised Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern the impact of Covid-19 "could" be greater than the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.
“The difference of course is that there is no existing playbook for the economic response here," Ardern said at a post-Cabinet press conference on Monday, noting we can't be sure of the impact, but "can be sure it will be significant”.
The Government is requiring all indoor and outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people to be cancelled. Schools and universities are excluded.
"Phase one" of a massive fiscal stimulus package will be unveiled on Tuesday. This will include both targeted and broad support, including a Business Continuity Package.
Ardern said the focus will be on supporting businesses to keep people in work, health sector resourcing and helping the most vulnerable.
“There will be more to our response," Ardern said.
"But I want to ensure New Zealanders fully understand the damage this virus can cause both to health and our economy, and the approach the Government is taking is to ultimately lessen what will be significant effects."
Ardern also warned foreigners who don’t comply with self-isolation rules could be deported.
She said the New Zealand general election will still take place on September 19.
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