After 17 days without any new COVID-19 cases and 75 days of the country being under COVID-19 alert level, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that the country will now move to Alert Level 1 and get its economy fully moving again.
“We are confident that we have eliminated the transmission of the virus in New Zealand for now” – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
The Prime Minister explained that by lifting domestic restrictions, they will almost certainly see cases in the country again. However, she emphasized that this is not a sign that they have failed. Rather, it is the reality of the COVID-19 virus. “If and when that occurs, we have to make sure and we are, that we are prepared.”
In a press conference today, June 8, 2020, she shared the current COVID-19 situation in New Zealand that led to the cabinet’s decision to move to alert level 1.
She said that there are no active cases in New Zealand and that they have tested almost 40,000 people for COVID-19 in the past 17 days, without anyone testing positive. There have also been no patients admitted to hospitals due to COVID-19 for 12 days.
Moreover, Ardern said that it’s been 40 days since the last case of community transmission and 22 days have passed since that person finished their self-isolation.
What will happen under Alert Level 1 in New Zealand?
Prime Minister Ardern said that despite not being immune to COVID-19, they were able not only to protect New Zealanders but also to have a headstart on their economic recovery. “At Level 1, we become if not the most open, one of the most open economies in the world,” she added.
Movement of People
As defined by the New Zealand government, starting June 9, 2020, under Alert Level 1, everyone will be allowed to return without restriction to work, school, sports, and domestic travel.
Furthermore, people will be allowed to get together with as many persons as they want.
On the other hand, border controls remain for those entering the country which include the health screening and testing and the mandatory quarantine or isolation for 14 days.
Continue Practice of Precautionary Measures
However, everyone is asked to continue practicing basic hygiene measures like handwashing and coughing into your elbow.
In addition, New Zealanders are asked to continue tracking where they go and who they meet for contact tracing purposes.
SOURCE: New Zealand Media Conference