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New Zealand opens up as coronavirus continues downward trend

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is moving the alert level down from 4, as "there is no widespread undetected community transmission in New Zealand."
Libby Emmons Brooklyn, NY

New Zealand may have won their battle against coronavirus. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is moving the alert level down from 4, as "there is no widespread undetected community transmission in New Zealand." Ardern said "We have won that battle. But we must remain vigilant if we are to keep it that way," according to Axios.

Only one case of the COVID-19 coronavirus was reported in New Zealand on Monday. The total case count is at 1,122, while the virus has claimed 19 New Zealanders' lives.

Moving into level 3 restrictions means that schools and some non-essential businesses will open, citizens will be permitted to travel regionally, not just within their neighborhoods.

Ardern notes that these level 3 restrictions will be reconsidered on May 11, and that if the downward trends are continuing, additional areas of society and the economy will be opened up.

New Zealand had imposed incredibly strict measures at the end of March, designed to not only flatten the curve, but vanquish it entirely. At the time the lockdown was mandated, the island nation had reported 102 cases, and no fatalities. The borders were closed on March 14.

New Zealanders were prohibited from leaving their homes other than for exercise, told not to leave their neighborhoods at all, and could only interact with those in their households, keeping a more than 6 foot distance between themselves and anyone else.

There have been a few arrests of those violating the Civil Defense Emergency Management Act, but New Zealand appears to have been spared from both the worst of the virus, and the social unrest that has accompanied long-term lockdowns.

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Libby Emmons
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