WELLINGTON, March 16 (Reuters) - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern banned gatherings of 500 people or more on Monday, as said there would be zero tolerance for anyone who violates the country’s new self-islolation rules to prevent the coronavirus from spreading.
Ardern also said the preliminary advice from the treasury department was that the economic impact from the COVID-19 could be greater than the global financial crisis.
“At this point we cannot be sure of the impact but we can be sure it will be significant,” Ardern said.
The government’s business continuity package to be announced on Tuesday will be “significant”, she said.
Ardern said schools and universities will be exempt from the mass gathering ban for now. (Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Himani Sarkar)