News Alerts

25 May 2020 | 05:33 AM UTC

New Zealand: Authorities ease restrictions on public gatherings May 25 /update 14

New Zealand News Alert

Authorities ease restrictions on public gatherings on May 25; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 5/25/2020, 12:00 AM until 6/22/2020, 11:59 PM (Pacific/Auckland). COUNTRY/REGION New Zealand

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Event

On Monday, May 25, Prime Minister Jacinda Arden announced that restrictions on group gatherings for indoor and outdoor activities are to be eased to allow up to 100 people to gather, up from ten allowed under previous restrictions, as New Zealand relaxes measures in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Arden also stated that the level two lockdown is to be reassessed on June 8, and that a move to level one would be considered by June 22 at the latest.

Authorities reduced the lockdown to level two on May 14, permitting malls, cafes, hairdressers, restaurants, cinemas, and other public spaces, including playgrounds and gyms, to reopen. Schools restarted on May 18, while bars resumed operations from May 21. Businesses have reopened, though they must observe the appropriate hygiene and social distancing rules. Hairdressers and beauticians must wear PPE, and establishments that violate level 2 rules will be closed. Professional sport and lower level sport have resumed, though crowds and spectators are not allowed. Additionally, companies are encouraged to continue allowing staff to work from home where possible. A full list of Level 2 measures can be found here.

The country's borders will remain closed, except for returning New Zealand nationals who will be required to spend 14-days in an isolation facility on their arrival.

The Health Ministry has confirmed 1504 cases of COVID-19 as of Monday, May 25, including 21 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the disease is to be expected in the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

 

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