New Zealand extends COVID lockdown until next week


New Zealand will extend the pandemic limit for four days on Friday, after which it will be slightly relaxed, but businesses and schools will remain closed and the largest city, Auckland, will be closed longer.

New Zealand was barely infected with the virus in February, except for a few cases, but the situation changed after the outbreak of the delta coronavirus mutant last week, with Jacinda Ardern nationwide. I ordered a blockade.

The outbreak, which has infected nearly 350 people so far, may have peaked, Ardan said at a news conference.

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Wednesday, August 27, 2021 in Wellington, New Zealand, with a post-cabinet COVID-19 lockdown update to shift to Level 3. (Robert Chitin / Pool / Getty Images)

“We may be seeing the beginning of a stagnation in the case,” Ardan said. “But you still need to be careful.”

She ordered all of New Zealand, except Auckland and Northland, the northernmost region of the country, to take a step back to warn of Level 3 restrictions from Wednesday, September 1.

This means that businesses can only operate with online orders and contactless services, and bars and restaurants remain closed except for takeaway. Public places remain closed, but weddings and funerals are limited to 10 people.

“Yes, you may be able to order some food, but not so much when it comes to freedom,” Ardan said.

Meanwhile, about two million people living in Auckland and Northland, adjacent to Auckland, will probably remain in a complete Level 4 blockade for another two weeks, Ardan said.

Disappointed company

The country reported 70 new cases of COVID-19 in the community on Friday, with a total of 347 cases in all epicenters of Auckland.

The severe blockade of Ardan and the closure of the border in March 2020 helped curb COVID-19, but the government is now delaying vaccine deployment and costing in countries that are heavily dependent on the migrant workforce. I am facing doubts about the rise.

Approximately 21 percent of the country’s 5.1 million people are fully vaccinated, the slowest pace among the wealthiest nations of the OECD Group.

Lian Watson, CEO of the Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce, said the extension of the blockade was “disappointing.”

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Staff will perform tests at the Te Papa Tongarewa COVID-19 Testing Station at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa during the Level 4 blockade in Wellington, New Zealand on August 25, 2021. (HagenHopkins / Getty Images)

“Government must absolutely weigh the impacts on decision making and public health, but in reality, continuous blockades cannot be part of our long-term future,” Watson said. Mr. says.

Mike Toweel, founder of LED display and sign specialist company Vitrine Media NZ, told Reuters that lockdown is “painful” for small businesses.

“We are all stakeholders in the New Zealand economy,” Toweel said in a telephone interview from Sydney. Australians were unable to return to New Zealand due to border restrictions.

“What the New Zealand Government isn’t dealing with is that every time they react to this kneeling, they add another twist to the armor of business trust.”

Ardan defended the government’s position, saying that elimination is the right strategy until everyone is vaccinated.

“Our goal at this point is to vaccinate more people than any other country in the world, and New Zealand is doing very well at this rate,” she said.

By Praveen Menon