New Zealand. Prime Minister of NZ, Jacinda Ardern said on Wednesday that she could lift all the social distancing measures from the country to bring life back to normal as of early next week.
Almost 2 months ago, Jacinda imposed a strict level 4 lockdown in New Zealand which includes shutting down most businesses and forcing people to stay home, due to the pandemic. Ardern will decide on Monday whether the country is ready to shift to Alert Level 1 or not.
She said waiting until Monday would allow her to see if recent changes, like the removal of restrictions on the number of people at social gatherings had led to a rise in the number of cases. During a televised news conference, she said “If it hasn’t, then we will be in a good position to move“.
Reuters reported that she said, under level 1 there is no requirement for physical distancing or limits on the number of people allowed in places like bars, clubs, churches, and sports venues. However, there would be no immediate plans to reopen New Zealand’s border.
New Zealand reported a total of 1,504 cases and 22 deaths till date but for a 12th consecutive day on Wednesday, no new cases of coronavirus is recorded in NZ. Ardern said the focus under a level 1 alert would shift to public health measures and basic personal hygiene like regular hand washing, self-isolation by anyone with flu-like symptoms and contact tracing.
Ardern’s decision to swiftly impose one of the harshest lockdowns in the world has been credited with constraining the spread of COVID-19 in New Zealand.