New Zealand prime minister has officially announced the end of national lockdown due to coronavirus. On Monday, Jacinda Ardern said that the country will phase out its current status over the next 10 days after successfully containing the virus.
Prime minister added as well that some restrictions will remain. The coronavirus lockdown is over in New Zealand, confirmed the first minister. PM Ardern said that from Thursday shopping malls, restaurants, cinemas and playgrounds will reopen — with the country moving to Level Two on its four-tier system.
In her national address, the 39-year-old PM warned “none of us can assume COVID is not with us” but said the country currently had only 90 active cases after a seven-week lockdown, TimesLives reports.
“Your efforts New Zealand have got us to this place ahead of most of the world and without the carnage that COVID has inflicted in many other places,” she said in Monday TV address.
Ardern urged New Zealanders be vigilant because there are still risks ahead. In fact, the country with a population of five million has recorded 1,147 coronavirus cases, including 21 deaths.
During the national lockdown caused by the novel infection, the number of new cases has been in single digits since mid-April, with three new infections recorded on Monday.
New Zealand will live under Level Two restrictions
Under Level Two restrictions, international borders remain closed but life domestically will return to something approaching normality. While social distancing must still be followed, the self-isolation will no longer apply.
“This is a transition out of our bubbles, you can see people you haven’t seen in a while, you just can’t do it all at once,” Ardern explained.
The lockdown was first eased two weeks ago, allowing food takeaways and resumption of some recreational activities, but the freedoms granted by the latest relaxation will be far greater.
Now, domestic travel will be allowed, providing a boost to the crippled tourism industry and schools will fully reopen next Monday. Bars will not be back in business until May 21, giving them extra time to ensure they can keep patrons properly separated.
Another good news for joyful active New Zealanders is team sport will also return. Planning already underway to start a domestic version of Super Rugby on June 13 involving the competition’s five New Zealand-based teams.