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Senin, 06 September 2021

‘Within sight of elimination’: New Zealand to relax restrictions outside of Auckland - Sydney Morning Herald

By Chris Zappone
Updated

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced the widespread easing of COVID restrictions across New Zealand as the nation appeared to have largely contained its Delta outbreak.

From Tuesday night, all of New Zealand outside Auckland will move from level 3 to level 2 restrictions, allowing people to return to work and school.

“We’ve done so well to get this outbreak under control,” said Ardern.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.Credit:AP

Auckland will remain at the most restrictive level 4 setting, which allows people to leave their home only for essential work and to buy essential supplies, until at least next Thursday.

“Level 4 restrictions are working but the job is not done,” she said at a media conference to announce the cabinet’s decision. “We’re within sight of elimination but we cannot drop the ball.”

Ardern said the new level 2 restrictions would limit indoor gathering to groups of 50 and require masks at many indoor settings.

Under the new restrictions, which go into effect at 11.59pm on Tuesday, authorities will also begin surveillance testing for 3000 people who must travel outside the border of the city daily.

Earlier on Monday, authorities reported 20 new community cases of COVID-19, the third day in a row at that level, suggesting that restrictions were having an effect on the outbreak.

The country reported 20 new community cases each on Sunday and Saturday, well below the Delta outbreak’s peak of 83 cases on the previous Sunday.

Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield disclosed that 90 per cent had contacts of known cases.

Seventy per cent of the cases were household contacts already isolating, he said.

“All these numbers are moving in the right direction, which is reassuring.”

“Testing remains central to us having confidence the outbreak is under control,” said Dr Bloomfield.

All new cases are in Auckland, with three identified at the border.

The future

Ardern said the decision would come down to the public health advice it receives and the confidence it has in the advice.

“For Auckland...we want to see a good sense of containment,” she said. “Mystery cases are particularly important to us.”

Dr Bloomfield said further reductions in restrictions would rely on the existence of fewer cases in the community, and the absence of mystery cases.

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2021-09-06 01:20:10Z
CAIiEKOj9zgoZDvffiK5EkpzXRsqGQgEKhAIACoHCAowxqmICzDg_IYDMPbfmwY

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