New Zealand to allow events of any size

Clay Curtis
June 4, 2020

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, which has reported a total of 1,504 cases and 22 deaths.

The decision to move down to Alert Level 1 will be made on June 8, Ardern said, adding it was possible that New Zealand could move down to Alert Level 1 by June 10. But the key was for strict border restrictions to remain, she said.

The paper, which the National Party says was considered by Government ministers on Monday, says that a move to Covid-19 alert level 1 was "predicated upon having eliminated chains of transmission and there having been no new cases from community transmission for at least 28 days".

New Zealand is now on level two of its four-tier virus alert system and Ardern said that could change as early as next week, essentially removing domestic restrictions while maintaining strict border controls.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said almost 95,000 girls aged 9 to 18 could be staying at home during their period because they were unable to afford sanitary products.

Among those clamouring for the restrictions to be lifted has been Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, who has directly contradicted the prime minister in interviews by saying New Zealand should move to alert level 1 right away.

She welcomed peaceful solidarity protests in New Zealand, but noted that they flouted social distancing restrictions.

The number of recovered cases was unchanged at 1481 with just one active case remaining and no people in hospital with the virus.

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Arden said waiting until Monday would allow her to see if recent changes, like the removal of restrictions on the number of people in bars and at social gatherings, had led to a rise in cases.

Ardern said the last case of community transmission was at the beginning of May.

When New Zealand reaches alert level 1 it would mean all of the hard work had paid off, lives had been saved and the economic recovery could happen sooner.

"If the member thinks he knows more than all of them combined, I congratulate him, but I would rather listen to the advice, get it right, and not risk our economy".

"Getting to this level has taken less time than we originally envisaged back in March, and we are now the envy of the world", said CINZ Chief Executive, Lisa Hopkins.

The question was loudly laughed at by Labour ministers across the House.

"We are in a global pandemic and I would hate for there to be an outbreak caused by someone who felt really moved to go and share their view to then become ill", she told TVNZ.

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