Without active Covid-19 cases, New Zealand removes almost all of its restrictions on coronae

New Zealand lifts almost all coronavirus restrictions after no active cases of Covid-19 have been reported

(CNN) – Almost all coronavirus restrictions in New Zealand will be lifted tomorrow, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced after the country did not report active cases.

However, social distancing is still encouraged, and Ardern said New Zealand’s international borders would remain closed to non-residents to prevent new outbreaks. Residents arriving in New Zealand will still have to quarantine for two weeks.

There are currently no active people in New Zealand coronavirus cases and no positive cases have been reported in the last 17 days. No one has been treated for Covid-19 in the hospital for the past 12 days, and 40 days have passed since the last case of community transmission.

“This freedom from restrictions relies heavily on the ongoing role that border controls will play in preventing the virus … The virus will be in our world for some time to come,” Ardern told a news conference on Monday.

The announcement came after the total number of confirmed coronavirus infections exceeded 7 million on Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University, with more than 402,000 people killed. New Zealand has 1,504 confirmed cases and 22 deaths.

Schedule to block New Zealand

The first case of coronavirus was confirmed in New Zealand on February 28 – more than a month after the United States confirmed its first infection.

On March 14, when there were six cases in the country, Ardern announced that anyone entering the country would have to isolate themselves for two weeks, which at the time was among the toughest border restrictions in the world. Foreign nationals were barred from entering the country on March 20th.

Days later, on March 23 – with no deaths and 102 confirmed cases – Ardern announced that the country was entering a “third tier”. Minor enterprises have been closed, events and gatherings have been canceled, and schools have been closed to all children except those of the main workers.

Employers were told to allow work from home where possible, public transport was reserved for basic workers, and discretionary domestic air travel between regions was banned.

At midnight on March 25, New Zealand moved to the strictest level 4 blockade, with people being told not to leave their homes except for basic exercises near home, while maintaining social distancing.

On April 9, despite a drop in cases, Ardern tightened border restrictions so that all citizens and permanent residents arriving in New Zealand were required to spend two weeks in quarantine in an approved facility rather than at home.

Traveling bubble stations?

New Zealand and Australia have been discussing the establishment “travel balloon” which would allow residents to travel freely between neighboring nations without the need for quarantine.

Both countries controlled mostly local outbreaks of coronavirus and have large tourism industries that have been hit hard by the widespread travel restrictions.

However, Ardern warned on Monday that such a corridor could still be several months away.

“I don’t want New Zealand companies or even kiwis that want to travel through the ditch to be subjected to a false start. I prefer to share deadlines when we have much more security,” she said.

“(Australia) is making progress from the state, but it’s not universal.”

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