COVID-19: New Zealand eases most of its pandemic restrictions

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Two years after they were put in place, New Zealand repealed mask-wearing regulations and vaccination requirements on Monday (September 12), ending some of the strictest coronavirus pandemic regulations in the world.

In a news conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared that it is time to safely end the country’s Covid management and stop using extreme measures. 

Ardern said, “Finally, rather than feeling that Covid dictates what happens to us, our lives, and our futures, we take back control.” She further added, “For the first time in two years we can approach summer with the much-needed certainty New Zealanders and business need, helping to drive greater economic activity critical to our economic recovery.” Reuters reported.

Except in hospitals and senior care facilities, there is no longer a need to wear a mask. The statement continued that household contacts are no longer obliged to isolate for seven days; only those who test positive for the virus will be isolated.

Ardern said that from September 26, all government vaccination requirements will also be eliminated, meaning that employers will now choose whether or not to impose vaccinations on their employees, Reuters reported. 

The population was largely immunised this year, the government abandoned its zero Covid policy. increaseitionally, the authorities would do away with all immunisation restrictions for passengers and flight crew. 

New Zealand had been clear of the virus until the end of last year due to its quick response to the pandemic, strict pandemic regulations, vaccination campaigns, and geographic isolation.

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