Coronavirus - New Zealand delays reopening borders due to Omicron متغير variable

Coronavirus – New Zealand delays reopening borders due to Omicron متغير variable

New Zealand has postponed until the end of February its plan to gradually reopen its borders due to the progression of the coronavirus Omicron variant. This was announced by the local coronavirus minister, Tuesday. Chris Hepkins. So far, the gradual reopening has been planned for mid-January.

“Until the end of February, New Zealand is better protected and the potential spread of Omicron may be delayed,” Hepkins said in a statement. “This decision is clearly disappointing and will conflict with many holiday plans, but it is important that we announce the changes today so that those plans can be reconsidered.” In addition, upon arrival in New Zealand, travelers will now be required to submit a negative coronavirus test, which will be taken at least 48 hours before departure. Previously, this delay was 72 hours. The country has reported 22 cases of the Omicron variant so far, all of them caught at the border. It had announced in October that it would reopen its borders to New Zealanders and New Zealanders living in Australia from mid-January. Then they should no longer be subject to quarantine upon arrival. Second, the borders were then reopened for all vaccinated travelers from April 30th. It is not yet known whether these projects will be postponed or not. As of March 2020, the country’s borders are closed to all but its citizens and residents. However, at the beginning of the year, the travel bubble was in place for several months with Australia. In order to combat the variant, the time between the injection of the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and the booster will also be shortened. Instead of six months, it would only take four months. This is while more than 90% of the eligible New Zealand population is fully vaccinated. Children 5 years of age or older can also be vaccinated from mid-January. New Zealand has a population of 5 million and has reported around 13,000 cases of Covid-19 and 49 deaths since the start of the pandemic. (Belga)

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