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New Zealand Ends Lockdown As Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Says Country Is Free From Coronavirus

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 08 Jun 2020 10:50
New Zealand Ends Lockdown As Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Says Country Is Free From CoronavirusNew Zealand Ends Lockdown As Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Says Country Is Free From CoronavirusPA Images

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern has put an end to lockdown after declaring the country free from coronavirus.

While stringent border controls remain in a bid to keep any new cases of the virus out, social distancing measures have been lifted after health officials revealed there were no known active cases of COVID-19.

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At a press conference in Wellington, Ardern did a little dance of celebration after saying her nation had ‘united in unprecedented ways to crush the virus’.

New Zealand Ends Lockdown As Prime Minister Says Country Is Free From CoronavirusNew Zealand Ends Lockdown As Prime Minister Says Country Is Free From CoronavirusPA Images

Ardern has been heaped with praise from all around the world, including that of the World Health Organization for how her government approached the handling on the pandemic.

On March 25, the New Zealand government put the country into lockdown for four weeks, before gradually easing the restrictions in place.

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From midnight tonight, June 8, restrictions will be lifted, allowing shops to reopen as normal and large groups to socialise together, meaning New Zealand will be a destination ‘where life feels as normal as we can in the time of a global pandemic’, Ardern said.

In March, when Ardern’s government opted to lockdown the country, New Zealand had around 200 confirmed cases of coronavirus – a number which peaked at no more than 1,500 cases.

New Zealand Ends Lockdown As Prime Minister Says Country Is Free From CoronavirusNew Zealand Ends Lockdown As Prime Minister Says Country Is Free From CoronavirusPA Images

Just 22 people died as a result of the virus in New Zealand, however scientists predicted this number could have been in the tens of thousands if restrictions had not been quickly introduced.

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According to data put together by Google, people living in the country had ‘massively reduced their movements’, with more people staying home than those in Australia, Britain and the United States.

Ardern said, as The Guardian reports:

Our collective results I think speak for ourselves. This was what the sacrifice of our team of five million was for – to keep one another safe and to keep one another well.

New Zealand Ends Lockdown As Prime Minister Says Country Is Free From CoronavirusNew Zealand Ends Lockdown As Prime Minister Says Country Is Free From CoronavirusPA Images
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At this point in time, Ardern says strict border controls will remain in place in New Zealand, with no clear timeline for when they will be removed. New Zealand residents and their immediate families are the only people eligible to enter the country, however they must spend 14 days in a government-run quarantine on their arrival.

The prime minister says New Zealand will almost certainly see cases in the country at some point in the future, explaining ‘it is a reality of the virus’.

For now, those living in New Zealand can get back to some form of normality once again.

It’s okay to not panic about everything going on in the world right now. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization, click here.

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Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: News, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Jacinda Ardern, lockdown, New Zealand, Now

Credits

Guardian
  1. Guardian

    New Zealand drops Covid-19 restrictions after nation declared 'virus-free'