New Zealand declares itself COVID-free, all restrictions to be lifted except border controls

New Zealand has not had any new infections in 17 days and until today, it had just one active case for more than a week. 

Created On: Jun 8, 2020 18:04 IST
NZ PM Jacinda Ardern
NZ PM Jacinda Ardern

New Zealand declared itself COVID-free on June 8, 2020 after the recovery of its last coronavirus patient. With this, the nation will be lifting all restrictions imposed to contain the virus including social distancing and restrictions on public gatherings.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, while making the announcement, revealed that she did a little dance when she was told that the nation did not have any remaining active COVID-19 case. Ardern stated that she was confident that the nation has eliminated the transmission of the virus for now

The NZ Prime Minister stated in a televised address that the Kiwis had united in unprecedented ways to crush the virus. The nation will now move to the lowest level of its four-tier virus response system- level 1 from midnight. Under this, almost all restrictions will be lifted including social distancing and limits on public gatherings. 

Borders to remain closed

New Zealand, while relaxing domestic restrictions, will continue to have strict border controls, which means that the nation’s borders will remain closed. 

Key Highlights 

•  The South Pacific nation has not had any new infections in 17 days and until today, it had just one active case for more than a week. 

•  The nation that has a population of 5 million had 1,154 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 22 deaths.

•  New Zealand had undergone a drastic seven-week lockdown, which as per the PM helped curb infection rates.

•  With the lifting of restrictions, all sporting events will be able to proceed with crowds in the stands and the nightclubs will be able to operate without dance floor restrictions and the theatres will reopen. 

•  New Zealand Rugby’s Super Rugby Aotearoa will become the first top-level sporting competition in the post-COVID world to proceed with crowds in the stands.

Economic Recovery 

New Zealand is now focussed on restarting its economy and drive recovery. With all restrictions removed, New Zealand will have a head start on economic recovery in comparison to other countries in the world, as it has become one of the most open global economies after coronavirus pandemic. New Zealand’s Prime Minister stated that the nation’s economy will operate at just 3.8 percent below normal at Level 1, compared with a 37 percent impairment at Level 4 lockdown.


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