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21 Sep 2020 | 05:35 PM UTC

New Zealand: COVID-19 restrictions to be lifted in all areas apart from Auckland from September 22 /update 26

New Zealand News Alert

Government to lift COVID-19 restrictions in all areas apart from Auckland from September 22; follow official directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 9/21/2020, 12:00 AM until 10/1/2020, 11:59 PM (Pacific/Auckland). COUNTRY/REGION New Zealand

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions will be lifted in all areas of New Zealand apart from the northern city of Auckland from Tuesday, September 22. The announcement sees most of the country move to level 1 on New Zealand's four-tier COVID-19 alert scale, under which all restrictions on public gatherings and requirements for the use of face masks are removed.

Restrictions in Auckland are also scheduled to be eased from the previous level 2.5 alert to level 2 from Thursday, September 24, allowing public gatherings of up to 100 people compared to ten previously. However, face masks remain mandatory on public transport, including for those traveling in or out of the city, and are encouraged in other enclosed public places.

New Zealand's borders remain closed to almost all non-citizens. Anyone entering the country must undergo quarantine or managed isolation in an approved facility for a minimum of 14 days. Arrivals must then test negative for COVID-19 before entering the community.

As of Monday, September 21, there have been 1815 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand with 25 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.


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). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

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

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.


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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