AUCKLAND - New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has said the country has stopped the “widespread, undetected community transmission” of Covid-19, as tough lockdown restrictions are scheduled to ease on Monday night.
Ardern said New Zealand had “avoided the worst” in the pandemic, but must continue to fight the virus.
“There is no widespread undetected community transmission in New Zealand. We have won that battle. But we must remain vigilant if we are to keep it that way,” she said.
At 11.59pm on Monday, New Zealand will lift its level-4 lockdown which has been in place for more than four weeks. During that time, almost all businesses have been closed, along with schools while the population has been asked to remain in their homes for all but supermarket visits and short walks.
Ardern said there was no way of knowing what may have happened without the level-4 lockdown.
But she warned that in level-3 there were new risks – namely people coming into more contact with others.
Level 3 will see retailers, restaurants and schools allowed to reopen on a smaller scale. Schools will reopen on Wednesday for children up to Year 10 who cannot study from home, or whose parents need to return to work.(FA)