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New Zealand Government looks to ease Coronavirus restrictions

New Zealand Government looks to ease Coronavirus restrictions
April 21, 2020

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that the nation will ease its Coronavirus restrictions, move from its current ‘Level 4’ lockdown to ‘Level 3’ status as of next Monday.

Thanking people for "stopping an uncontrolled explosion of Covid-19", as she announced an easing of lockdown, Prime Minister Ardern stated "we have done what very few countries have been able to do. We have stopped a wave of devastation.

“Our transmission rate, the number of cases each person with the virus passes it onto, is now 0.48, less than half a person each. Overseas the average is 2.5 people. We have amongst the lowest number of confirmed cases per 100,000 people in the world.”

With the Oxford University Coronavirus government response tracker showing New Zealand has one of the lowest mortality rates in the world, Prime Minister Ardern (pictured) said New Zealand had a “relatively low proportion of serious cases.”

Overall 1,400 people have become infected with coronavirus in New Zealand, and 12 people have died, all older people with pre-existing health conditions.

The move to ‘Level 3’ means some businesses can reopen, along with some schools, while rules on local travel will be relaxed.

New Zealand introduced a state of national emergency on 25th March, and went to ‘Level 4’ later that day.

The Level 4 lockdown meant people had to stay at home, except for "essential personal movement". Exercise was allowed locally, but travel was "severely limited".

Businesses closed - except for essential services - as did schools and public venues while all gatherings were cancelled.

Level 3 will allow businesses to open but not "physically interact with customers".

Gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed but only for weddings, funerals and tangihanga (Maori funeral rites).

Level 3 will last for at least two weeks, with a new decision on 11th May.

New Zealand's borders, which closed to almost all foreign travellers on 19th March, will remain sealed.

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