News Alerts

08 Jun 2020 | 08:00 AM UTC

New Zealand: Authorities announce easing of COVID-19 restrictions from midnight June 8 /update 15

New Zealand News Alert

Authorities announce the easing of COVID-19 restrictions from midnight on June 8; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 6/8/2020, 12:00 AM until 6/30/2020, 11:59 PM (Pacific/Auckland). COUNTRY/REGION New Zealand

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Event

On Monday, June 8, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the country would enter level one (lowest on a four-level scale) of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions from midnight on Monday. The move will remove all restrictions still in place in New Zealand, with the exception of the reopening of borders, which are to remain closed indefinitely. Social distancing requirements throughout the country will also be removed. The announcement came as the country case was declared COVID-19-free, and with no new cases being identified since mid-May. Arden warned that restrictions would be reimplemented should new cases emerge, and encouraged businesses to continue displaying QR codes to allow residents to trace their movements, although manual tracing of their movements is no longer required.

The Health Ministry has confirmed 1504 cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand as of Monday, June 8, and 22 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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