COVID-19: NZ PM Jacinda Ardern announces easing of restrictions in Auckland


New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden has announced easing of Coronavirus restrictions in Auckland, the country’s largest city.

The Prime Minister said Coronavirus restrictions will be lifted this week as she expressed confidence a second wave of COVID-19 infections in Auckland has almost been eliminated.

The city will move to alert level 1 from 11.59 pm on Wednesday, joining the rest of the country, after reporting no new cases for 10 consecutive days.

Speaking at a news conference on Monday, the Prime Minister said “There is now a 95% probability of the cluster being eliminated,Covid-19 will be with us for many months to come. But we should still mark these milestones.“

 

With a population of about 5 million, New Zealand appeared to have stamped out community transmission of Covid-19 earlier this year following a tough nationwide lockdown that was subsequently lifted

The Auckland outbreak, detected in August, was the biggest the country had seen with 179 linked cases.

The easing of measures means there will be no 100-people limit on gatherings in Auckland, and no physical distancing rules in bars and restaurants.

The country recorded one new case on Monday, involving a New Zealander returning from overseas, taking its total number of confirmed cases to 1,499, including 25 deaths.

Jacinda Ardern’s success in containing coronavirus has played a major part in putting her firmly ahead in polls for a general election on 17 October.


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