Restrictions are to be eased Monday night everywhere in New Zealand except Auckland. The rules there will be eased from Wednesday night, when residents will again have the right to attend gatherings of up to 100 people. But some regulations will remain in place, including mandatory use of masks on trains and ferries, as well as planes entering, leaving or passing through the city. Officials will review these measures early next month.
Although such rules for masks will not exist elsewhere in the country, Ardern called on New Zealanders to continue wearing them in certain environments to protect themselves and the community.
“Our actions collectively managed to control the virus,”
Residents should look for tests, “even if it’s just a breath or a cough,” she said.
The country heeded the threat of the virus earlier this year and moved quickly to stop it from spreading.
With about 100 confirmed cases in March, New Zealand requires residents to stay at home unless they are involved in basic activities, such as trips to the grocery store. As other countries face a huge number of cases and a shortage of protective equipment and hospital beds, New Zealand has been able to slowly ease restrictions for several months.
By June, when no new cases were confirmed for more than two weeks, officials revoked the home stay order and the nation saw more than 100 days without registering a single case of community surrender.
Borders remain closed to most passengers, and people entering the country from abroad must go through a controlled period of isolation before entering society.
Then, last month, four members of a family – none of whom had traveled recently – were tested for the virus.
“We had 102 days and it was easy to feel that New Zealand was out of the woods,” Ardern said at the time. “No country has come as far as we have without a revival. And since we were the only ones, we had to plan. And we have planned. “
Auckland returned to a strict lock while residents of other parts of the country were told to wear masks when social distancing was not possible and to stay home when possible.
Cases noted upwards when employees identified others related to this cluster, as well as what they called sub-clusters.
Last month, Ardern announced that he would withdraw the country’s general election – scheduled for re-election – by one month, until October 17th.
But on Monday, Ardern expressed optimism that if New Zealanders continue to take precautions, the outbreak could remain under control.
“Our response has protected the health of New Zealanders while allowing the economy to operate at near-normal levels,” she said.
The nation’s focus, she said, was what allowed its economy to be “more open than almost any other country in the world.”