New Zealand presented its plan on how the Delta-free country could ease some of the toughest border curbs. They helped to keep out the highly contagious delta strain and to make the island nation effectively free of COVID-19 for much of the pandemic.
NZ government announced the acceleration of its vaccine rollout this year to be ready for the 1st phase of reopening of its border in early 2022. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern added Thursday in Wellington that the fully-vaccinated travellers from low-risk nations will eventually be able to enter New Zealand without going into quarantine, The Japan Times said.
“Getting vaccinated is the number one thing everyone can do to be protected against COVID-19, help accelerate our economic recovery, reduce the risk of lockdowns and safely allow New Zealand’s borders to begin reopening next year,” Ardern said.
PM also added that the first step in our plan is speeding up the vaccination process to ensure everyone is at least partially vaccinated as soon as possible to reduce the risk and impact of delta entering NZ. The Cabinet will make the Pfizer Inc. vaccine available to all adults sooner than previously planned and increase the gap between doses from three weeks to six, PM said.
New Zealand has scored consistently well on Bloomberg’s COVID Resilience Ranking, which measures the best and worst places to be amid the coronavirus pandemic.
This will allow more New Zealanders to get their first dose sooner in the coming months, she said. Moreover, from Sept. 1, all eligible ages will be able to book an immunization appointment.
New Zealand joins other so-called COVID-zero economies
Amid the global pandemic, NZ is investigating methods to rapidly test airport arrivals for COVID-19. New Zealand places that have targeted suppression of the virus within their borders and, therefore, joins other so-called COVID-zero economies.
The effective elimination of the virus creates an approach that relies on continued isolation, which nations with significant tourism sectors like New Zealand can’t afford long term.
Meanwhile, China, the biggest adherent of COVID-zero, is doubling down on the strategy after delta got past its defences and seeded flare-ups there. The country is not expected to start opening up until the middle or later part of next year.