Almost all coronavirus restrictions in New Zealand will be lifted tomorrow, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced, after the country reported no active cases. Schools and workplaces will be able to open under the new “level 1” rules, with no limitations on gatherings or domestic travel.
Social distancing, however, is still encouraged and Ardern said New Zealand’s international borders will remain shut to non-residents to prevent new outbreaks. Resident arriving in New Zealand will still have to quarantine for two weeks. New Zealand currently has no active coronavirus cases, and no positive cases reported in the past 17 days. There has been no one receiving treatment in hospital for Covid-19 for the past 12 days and it has been 40 days since the last case of community transmission.
“This freedom from restrictions relies though heavily on the ongoing role that our border controls will play in keeping the virus out ... The virus will be in our world for some time to come,” Ardern said at a press conference Monday.
The announcement came as the global number of confirmed coronavirus infections surpassed 7 million on Moay, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tally, with more than 402,000 people killed. New Zealand has had 1,504 confirmed cases and 22 deaths. Ardern said she had danced from excitement on hearing the news that New Zealand currently has no active Covid cases.
“It was very exciting information to hear, so I confess that when I heard that information I did do a -- I don’t even know if I could describe it as a dance -- some semi-coordinated movement around the lounge,” the PM said during a Facebook live Monday.