Relief as much of New Zealand eases out of coronavirus restrictions
Many New Zealanders will on Monday night taste freedom from all Covid-19 restrictions for a second time during the pandemic, after Jacinda Ardernremoved all domestic rules for much of the country.
Some restrictions will remain on the largest city, Auckland, for a further two weeks, although the rules will be eased somewhat as health officials said a cluster of cases in the city did not appear to have generated any fresh instances of the virus in the past week.
“Our actions collectively have managed to get the virus under control,” the prime minister told a news conference on Monday. “We are in a strong position to make our next move down the alert settings.”
Celebrations began on social media as New Zealanders heard the news.
At 11.59pm on Monday, all Covid-19 restrictions on the country outside Auckland will be jettisoned – among them, a requirement to wear masks on public transport and planes, and a 100-person limit on social gatherings. The move to so-called “level 1” rules means a return largely to normal life.
At the same time on Wednesday, Auckland’s rules will ease further, allowing gatherings of up to 100 – instead of 10. Businesses will be required to maintain physical distancing and masks will still be mandatory on planes and public transport.
New Zealand’s government had jettisoned all domestic Covid-19 restrictions in early June after the country appeared to have eliminated the virus. It followed a strict lockdown of the entire country in March and April.
Later that month, cases began to ...
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