Sydney, Australia, Aug 14 (EFE).- New Zealand, which imposed some of the world’s strictest policies against Covid-19, announced on Monday that it will eliminate all the remaining restrictions against the disease, including seven days of mandatory isolation for those infected.
Protesters are seen outside of the Park hotel quarantine facility in Melbourne, Australia, 06 January 2022. EFE-EPA FILE/JAMES ROSS AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT
The mandatory use of face masks in health care facilities will also end starting Tuesday, Health Minister Ayesha Verrall said in a statement.
“While our case numbers will continue to fluctuate, we have not seen the dramatic peaks that characterized Covid-19 rates last year,” she said.
“And while not mandated, the Ministry of Health guidance is to stay at home for five days if you’re unwell or have tested positive for Covid-19,” she added.
The lifting of the remaining coronavirus measures coincides with the lowest number of cases in New Zealand since February 2022, when it gradually began reopening its borders, causing the number of infections to skyrocket.
The Oceania country – where more than 90 percent of the population over the age of 12 is fully vaccinated against the disease – has recorded a total of over 2.4 million Covid-19 infections, including 3,249 deaths, according to official data.
New Zealand, praised worldwide at the beginning of the pandemic for its strategy against the coronavirus, locked down its population on several occasions despite a very low number of infections.
It closed its international borders in March 2020, locking out many of its own citizens that were unable to secure a mandatory quarantine hotel room.
The hardline measures and the immunization required for several critical labor sectors provoked thousands to protest on Wellington’s parliament grounds between February and early March last year.
“It has been a long road, however thanks to lots of hard work, New Zealand’s Covid-19 approach has moved from an emergency response to sustainable long-term management,” Ayesha Verrall said. EFE