New Zealand eases Covid restrictions

New Zealand eases Covid restrictions

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Islam News – New Zealand announced on Monday that it would ease restrictions outside Auckland, ending a series of lockdowns that began in August.

Residents outside Auckland will be allowed to return to work and school, and the nationwide alert level will be lowered to Level 2 starting Wednesday morning, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at a news conference.

Auckland, a city of around 1.7 million, will remain at Level 4, which means that everyone but essential workers must stay at home. Schools will reopen on Thursday morning.

New Zealand is one of the last countries pursuing a so-called Covid zero strategy, enforcing severe restrictions on movement and activities. Other governments that have employed this strategy, including Hong Kong and Singapore, have said they may start loosening their measures.

The average number of daily new cases remains relatively low, at 36, but New Zealand’s vaccination campaign has gotten off to a sluggish start: only 49 percent of the population has received at least one dose, below the 62 percent in the United States and the 72 percent in Britain.

Source: VOA NEWS