Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will announce a multi-billion dollar economic stimulus on Tuesday as New Zealand awakens to the shock measures needed to fight COVID-19.
On Saturday, Ms Ardern announced almost all international arrivals, including Kiwi citizens, would be required to self-isolate for a fortnight on their return from overseas.
The decision will have incredible ramifications for the New Zealand economy, particularly the travel industry on which the South Pacific nation is deeply reliant.
Kiwis finding themselves in Australia and overseas went into a panic, with at least one overseas MP, Chloe Swarbrick, missing the deadline - and next week's parliamentary session.
On Sunday, Ms Ardern foreshadowed the announcement of a major economic stimulus, calling it the "most significant package that I will announce while I'm prime minister".
Cabinet will confirm the plan on Monday.
Given the New Zealand government announced a $NZ12 billion ($A11.77 million) infrastructure package last month, the spending is likely to be historic.
Ms Ardern said she was unlikely to follow Australia's path of handing cheques to households as "singular payments won't be sufficient".
"I need to make sure that we are actually targeting those businesses who need help the most and it's sufficient to make a difference to keep people in work," she told TV1.
"It will be designed to carry people through the worst of this event.
"We put in some resilience to our businesses and we support people that may find their hours reduced and their work affected."
Kiwi Economists believe a recession is inevitable in the wake of the global pandemic.
Ms Ardern said two weeks ago, she received Treasury advice that the coronavirus would result in a 0.6 per cent hit to GDP.
"Everyone knows now that this is outstripping that," she said, declining to offer a revised forecast.
"Rather than the prediction, I'm focusing on the preparation."
The basis to the heavy-handed quarantine response lies in the belief that New Zealand, with just eight confirmed cases of the virus, can get ahead of its spread.
The seventh and eighth case, and the first outside Auckland, were confirmed by Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield on Sunday afternoon.
Health officials have successfully traced the contacts of the first six positive tests, allowing for a level of containment that will soon no longer be possible.
More than 10,000 Kiwis have self-isolated since the beginning of the outbreak.
Ms Ardern said self-isolation was the key tool in her policy response box, but the government could force individuals to quarantine in a health facility if they failed to comply.
"We can put people on the door to make sure you don't leave," she said.
"My view is that most people ... are following (self-isolation) requirements but we do have those abilities available to us."
Ms Ardern's response gained swift support from the opposition National Party and from public health experts.
University of Auckland based microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles said "Prime Minister Ardern is doing exactly what is needed to limit the spread of the virus in Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific in what are unprecedented times".
"Yes, this is going to hurt economically. But allowing the virus to take hold here would hurt us even more."
University of Otago professor Michael Baker said the measures would be "widely welcomed by those of us working in the health sector".
"This is the path being successfully followed by some countries overseas, such as Singapore and Taiwan, which have also managed to keep the numbers of COVID-19 cases at low levels," he said.
The government is also poised to announce a decision to limit public gatherings, following a last-minute call to cancel Sunday's national remembrance service on the first anniversary of the Christchurch mosque attacks.