Wednesday, 15 July 2020

New Zealand may lift most COVID-19 restrictions on 10 June

After mounting a successful fight against the fatal viral disease COVID-19, most of New Zealand’s coronavirus restrictions may be removed in a week.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today said that cabinet would forward its decision to further relax the country’s measures on 8 June, which then could take effect on 10 June. The decision would bring down New Zealand’s alert to level one, which would mean very few restrictions. Ardern said that the first level covers only border controls, which she called critical, as well as public hygiene measures.

The news comes as the country is on the verge of eradicating the virus altogether in its borders. New Zealand has recorded no new cases for 10 straight days. Only one active case remains in the hospital as well. The nation was brought under one of the world’s strictest lockdowns, from which it emerged on 14 May. However, some restrictions that limit social interaction in public spaces remain.

Initial plans for the lifting of restrictions were slated for 22 June, but Ardern said that the seven-week lockdown yielded better results than expected, allowing the government to ease the measures earlier.

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