Manitoba Daily

Saturday, December 9, 2023

The reopening plans of New Zealand are unaffected by the new variant

Key takeaways:

  • As of late Thursday, Auckland pubs, restaurants, and gyms can reopen, bringing an end to a coronavirus lockdown that began in August.
  • New Zealand imposed travel restrictions on nine southern African countries on Sunday in response to the omicron danger.

New Zealand’s plans to remove restrictions in Auckland and move the country into a new, more open phase of its pandemic response haven’t changed as a result of the appearance of the omicron variant, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday.

Auckland bars, restaurants, and gyms can reopen as of late Thursday, bringing an end to a coronavirus shutdown that began in August.

A new “traffic light” system will stop lockdowns across the country. Still, people will need to be completely vaccinated to participate in anything from getting a haircut to attending a concert.

Also read: The first reported cases of the omicron coronavirus strain in Canada

New Zealand imposed travel restrictions on nine southern African countries on Sunday in response to the omicron danger. Ardern stated that she does not foresee any such limitations.

New Zealand will continue to undertake basic things like contact tracing, isolating sick persons, and requiring mask usage in some places as the new type is examined further, she said.

Due to outbreaks or poor vaccination rates, Ardern said Auckland and certain other sections of the North Island would join the new traffic light system with a red signal. Other sections of the country would see an orange light as they approached.

She said the country had been through some of the toughest times since the epidemic began but that many people’s sacrifices had helped calm an Auckland outbreak while vaccination rates improved.

New variant not stopping New Zealand's reopening plans

“We’ve come out of COVID in better shape than practically anywhere else in the globe,” Ardern added, citing low death rates, a booming economy, and high vaccination rates as examples.

The traffic light system is intended to show where epidemics are putting the health system under strain. A green designation imposes little restrictions, while an orange designation necessitates additional mask-wearing and distancing, and a red designation restricts the size of gatherings.

In October, Ardern set a lofty goal of vaccinating 90% of all eligible people in the 20 health districts before implementing the new method.

However, with nearly all New Zealanders aged 12 and up properly vaccinated, Ardern thought it was time to act.

Last week, the administration declared that the country would reopen its borders to the rest of the world in the coming months, providing displaced residents to return in January and tourists in April.

Source: CTV News

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