Des personnes marchent dans un quartier commerçant à Auckland, en Nouvelle-Zélande

Coronavirus: New Zealand lifts most health restrictions

SYDNEY (Reuters) – New Zealand, one of the toughest countries in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, announced on Monday it would lift most of the health restrictions it imposed two years ago, including the wearing of masks and a passport.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at a news conference that it was time to turn the page on the health crisis.

“Finally, instead of feeling like COVID dictates what happens to us, our lives and our future, we take back control,” she said.

“For the first time in two years, we can approach summer with the certainty that New Zealanders and businesses desperately need, which will help stimulate economic activity, which is essential to our economic recovery,” she adds.

All instructions for wearing a mask have been lifted, with the exception of health care and elderly care institutions. The government said in a statement that only those who tested positive for COVID-19 would be required to self-isolate for seven days, while their contacts would not be required to do so.

Vaccinations will also be canceled on September 26, including for international travelers and cabin crew.

(Reporting by Praveen Menon; written by Anna Nicolasi da Costa; French version by Diana Mandia; Editing by Sophie Lewitt)

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