No full reopening of the borders before October -

New Zealand abandons its “zero-Covid” strategy

New Zealand will ease its restrictions and lift strict containment in early December.

Bookings in Auckland for three and a half months will be lifted on December 3. An announcement was made yesterday by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

His government wants to adopt a new strategy to fight the coronavirus, with the goal of containing the delta variant rather than trying to eradicate it completely.

“The hard truth is that delta (the variable) is there and it won’t go away anytime soon.”she told the press.

“While no country has succeeded in completely eradicating the delta variant, New Zealand is in a better position than most countries to deal with it.”

Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand

So far, his government aims to completely eradicate the virus, the so-called “zero Covid” policy, with strict containment measures, strict contact tracing, and strict border controls.

The disease has claimed just 40 lives out of a population of five million, but pressure has grown to end the lockdown on Auckland since the delta variant was discovered there in August.

Ms Ardern originally planned to change the policy once the vaccination rate of 90 percent was reached in the country, but eventually introduced reopening when the vaccination level is currently around 83 percent.

The new system looks like traffic lights, with green meaning there is almost no control over the virus, orange requiring masks to be worn in certain places and red allowing businesses to remain open only to vaccinated customers and observing social distancing.

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The prime minister said Auckland would initially be placed in red, adding that authorities were still rating other areas.

Auckland is currently isolated from the rest of New Zealand, with roadblocks set 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 next year.

With AFP.

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