New Zealand announces end of lockdowns, abandons zero-Covid policy

New Zealand announces the end of lockdowns and abandons its z & eacute; ro- policy Covid

MISE & Agrave; DAY

New Zealand will end the three-and-a-half-month lockdown in the country's largest city, Auckland in early December by adopting a new strategy to fight the coronavirus, Prime Minister Jacinda said on Monday. Ardern.

Ms Ardern said that starting at 11:59 p.m. on December 2, New Zealand would adopt a new response to Covid-19 aimed at containing the Delta variant rather than attempting to eliminate it completely.

“The hard truth is that [the variant] Delta is here and not going to go away,” she told reporters.

“While no country has succeeded in eliminating the Delta variant completely, New Zealand is better placed than most to tackle it.”

So far, its government aimed at complete elimination of the virus, a so-called “zero-Covid” policy, with strict containment measures, rigorous traceability of contacts and strict border controls.

The disease has only killed 40 people in a population of five million, but pressure has increased to end the lockdown imposed on Auckland since the Delta variant was detected there in August.

Ms Ardern initially planned to change policy once the country's 90% immunization rate was reached, but eventually brought forward reopening when the immunization level is currently around 83%.

The new system is presented as traffic lights, the green signifying virtually no control of the virus, the orange requiring the wearing of the mask in certain places while the red allows the businesses to remain open to only vaccinated customers and observing a distancing social.

Auckland will initially be highlighted in red, the Prime Minister said, adding that authorities are still in the process of classifying other areas.

Auckland is currently isolated from the rest of New Zealand, with roadblocks to be lifted on December 15.

Strict quarantine rules for international arrivals will remain in place, but Ms Ardern has pledged to ease them early in the season. next year ine

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