NZ to lift all COVID-19 restrictions from midnight

With no active cases of the coronavirus left in New Zealand and no new cases in a fortnight, New Zealand will be removing all social distancing restrictions from Tuesday 12 am.

This involves downgrading New Zealand’s alert level to level one, where the only restrictions left in place will be that of international border controls, where isolation and quarantine measures will continue. Contact tracing will also continue to go ahead.

“We are confident we have eliminated the transmission of the virus in New Zealand for now, but elimination is not a point in time, it is a sustained effort,” said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday. 

Public and private events, retail and hospitality industries, and all public transport will be allowed to continue without any social distancing restrictions. 

“We will almost certainly see cases here again, and that is not a sign that we have failed, it is a reality of this virus.

“But if and when that occurs, we have to make sure, and we are, that we are prepared.”

Regarding the trans-Tasman ‘travel bubble’, Adern said she would be “very, very careful” about opening the borders.

“I think we do need to keep in mind that they [Australia] had roughly… half a dozen cases, I believe, yesterday or at least over the weekend,” she said.

“They have had community transmission. We will need to move cautiously here.

SkyCity Entertainment Group, executive general manager of gaming Matt Ballesty told Asia Gaming Brief that they were was excited by the news.

“We are now in a position to essentially resume normal operations,” said Ballesty.

“We will now longer be restricted by limits on the number of people in different areas, we can lift imposing restrictions like ‘members-only’ and the ‘registration’ linked to membership and facial recognition.”

“However we will continue to promote good hygiene practices, maintaining increased cleaning standards, and staying at home if you feel unwell.”

Ballesty said that SkyCity will also be supporting the government’s contact tracing app.

“At each outlet, a QR code is displayed which the customer uses to assist them in keeping a digital record of their movements around the property. The information is stored with the individual, not by the venue. We will promote QR points at all our properties and request customers to support the government in tracing abilities should it ever be required.”

“We are really excited by this news as we get on rebuilding the business,” he said.