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New Zealand to start lifting COVID-19 restrictions.

Image Credit: Mark Mitchell/AP

From late Monday, the last COVID-19 restrictions in New Zealand will be lifted. The Health authorities reported no new cases in the country on Monday, and the number of active cases in the country of 5 million, is 62.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also announced that the maximum gathering size will be increased from 10 to 100, and in two weeks there will be no restrictions on the gathering size. Only the city of Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand, will remain with some of the restrictions. Their restrictions will remain in force for the next 16 days.

Last month, New Zealand imposed restrictions, after an outbreak in the city of Auckland broke a 102 day streak without new cases. This prompted the Prime Minister to act fast to contain the virus. It worked, and now a month after New Zealand managed to successfully curb the spread of the virus again. Before last month’s outbreak, New Zealand managed to report no new cases for 100 straight days. Their streak of no new cases was actually 102 days, but the report came out at their 100th day. Read more about this here:

New Zealand success may be attributed to its swift action. They employ a four tier alert system, which was introduced back in March.

  • Level 1 means COVID-19 is present but contained.
  • Level 2 means that virus is still contained but risks are increasing.
  • Level 3 means that the virus is getting difficult to contain.
  • Level 4 means that there is sustained transmission.

The whole country has been moved to level one, except for Auckland’s level which will decrease to 2 from 2.5 on Wednesday. The Prime Minister believes that extensive testing and contact tracing helped contain the virus. Prime Minister said ‘Our actions collectively have managed to get the virus under control.’

The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also said ‘Analysis completed for the ministry of health suggests that by the end of the month, there is still a 50-50 chance of having eliminated COVID once again.’

Regarding Auckland, the Prime Minister said that Auckland ‘needs more time’. She also added ‘This was the centre of the outbreak and that’s why caution is required here.’

The city of Auckland’s virus setting will be reviewed in two weeks, offering the possibility to join the rest of the country at level 1 on October 7th.

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