New Zealand: End of lockdown in Auckland

In New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, the strict corona lockdown will be relaxed after twelve weeks.

Auckland – As of Wednesday, shops and public facilities such as museums, zoos and libraries are allowed to reopen, and meetings of up to 25 people outdoors are then again allowed, as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Monday. The restrictions were imposed in mid-August due to a single corona infection discovered. The metropolis with 1.7 million inhabitants was then considered to be the stronghold of the outbreak of the Delta variant in the Pacific state.

“We are loosening the restrictions that pose the least risk. We know, for example, that something like outdoor gatherings or picnics does not increase the number of cases, but does contribute to people’s wellbeing, ”says Ardern. At the same time, the authorities reported 190 new infections in the Pacific state – the highest number since the beginning of the pandemic.

A vaccination rate of 90 percent will likely be achieved in Auckland by the end of the month. Then further easing could come into force, stressed Ardern. New Zealand is seen worldwide as a model country in the fight against the virus. It has long pursued a so-called zero covid strategy. In the end, however, Ardern had to admit that with the spread of the highly contagious delta variant, this can hardly be achieved. So far, about 7,300 cases of infection have been confirmed, 32 people have died in connection with Covid-19. (dpa)

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