New Zealand abandons zero-Covid policy

New Zealand abandons zero-Covid policy

The Prime Minister announced that from 11:59pm on December 2, New Zealand will adopt a new response to Covid-19 aimed at containing the delta variant rather than trying to eradicate it entirely. “The harsh reality is that (alternative) deltas exist and are not going away any time soon,” she told reporters. “While no country has succeeded in completely eliminating the delta variant, New Zealand is in a better position than most countries to deal with it.”

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.

83% have been vaccinated

The disease has claimed just 40 lives out of a population of 5 million, but pressure has grown to end the lockdown on Auckland since the delta variant was discovered there in August.

Jacinda Ardern originally planned to change the policy once the vaccination rate reached 90% in the state, but eventually reopened when the vaccination level is currently around 83%.

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

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