New Zealand reports no new or active COVID-19 case
New Zealand is free of coronavirus, and will move to Alert Level One at midnight on Monday after its last patient recovered on the weekend and there have not been any new cases of the virus in 17 days.
The country’s Ministry of Health announced the milestone on Monday afternoon, before the Prime Minister Jacinda Arden revealed New Zealand would be making the shift to Level One almost immediately.
It means all restrictions on public and private life are lifted, from the number of people permitted at gatherings to how people should shop or dine out.
Ms. Ardern said she hopes people will continue to record their movements to maintain easier contact tracing, as the global pandemic will no doubt linger with “second waves a constant reality.”
The country’s borders will remain closed to non-citizens, and citizens are still expected to quarantine or isolate at the border for two weeks in order to remain at level one rather than risk a return to a higher alert level.
She said eliminating the virus is “not a point in time, it is a sustained effort.
“We almost certainly see cases here again and that is not a sign we have failed, it is a reality of this virus.”
In total, New Zealand had 1,154 cases, and lost 22 people to the virus. Everyone else has recovered and spent two weeks in isolation.
The nation, which is now among just eight other countries which have eliminated the spread of COVID-19.
Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste, Montenegro, Eritrea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles and Nevis and Vatican City (the Holy See) have all managed to end remove the virus from their communities for now.