New Zealand may remove most coronavirus restrictions next week

Cheryl Sanders
June 3, 2020

Thousands of New Zealanders marched peacefully yesterday amid protests in the U.S. and around the globe decrying how Floyd, a black American, died in police custody last week.

Confirmed and probable cases remains at 1504, with the total number of confirmed cases - which is reported to the World Health Organization - still at 1154.

No-one is now in hospital with the virus.

There remains one active case in the country, says Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

Today is the 12th day of no new cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand.

Yesterday, laboratories carried out 1262 tests. He said he was not concerned about a drop in testing, saying that was a usual pattern over the weekend.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield will be delivering the latest update on the COVID-19 response at 1pm.

He reminded Kiwis that although we were in a fortunate position, there were still many cases still occurring overseas.

"This pandemic continues at pace outside of our borders and we can not afford to let our guard down".

But Fernando Simon, head of the Coordination Centre for Health Alerts and Emergencies, also told journalists of the ongoing concern at "day-to-day discrepancies" in the data - divergences that would be "verified", he said.

The centre-left leader said she sympathised with people who marched in New Zealand cities on Monday to protest the death of U.S. man George Floyd, an African-American, at the hands of a white police officer.

He asked people to be kind to those who had recovered from the virus, and said there was no stigma attached to having the disease.

He said testing at the border would start next week and it could include everyone coming into the country, not just those going into quarantine.

Girls in New Zealand high schools will no longer have to pay for sanitary products after the government announced it would foot the bill in an attempt to stamp out widespread period poverty. Borders will remain closed, she said.

She had previously said she would consider level 2 "settings" on June 8, with a move to level 1 being considered no later than June 22. At the press conference, he said he didn't want to pre-empt anything, but so far the signs were looking good.

These are likely to be loosened for level 1.

She said there were still some risks, including the country heading into winter and asymptomatic transmission.

Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand could move to alert level 1 next week, which means all physical distancing measures and curbs on mass gatherings will be lifted.

However, she brought forward a decision on moving to level 1 to next Monday.

Cabinet would look closely at the results of testing of people with respiratory symptoms to see if any of these infections were due to residual Covid-19 in communities.

Other reports by iNewsToday