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Update: New Zealand Lockdown Level 2.1

Update: New Zealand Lockdown Level 2.1

Update: New Zealand Lockdown Level 2.1

Things are changing, New Zealand. 

From midday on Friday, social gatherings can increase from 10 people to 100. But don’t get too excited, there is still no dancing at your favourite bar. Dance floors are still off limits as hospitality venues are still required to adhere to strict social distancing rules. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said social gatherings at bars have been the trigger for some of the country’s significant clusters, which was why they mitigated the risk and began reopening them under level 2 was phased in.

Physical distancing obligations would still apply at weddings and funerals.

For more, read today’s update here. 

The government also announced a $570 million fund for people who have lost their jobs due to Covid-19. Recipients would receive more than the standard benefit payments as Covid-19 was described as a once in a 100 year event.

No second wave

Unlike many countries around the world, New Zealand has not experienced an increase in cases since moving from level 3 to level 2. Today there were zero new cases with only 27 active cases.

Director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the advice to allow gatherings up to 100 people was based on how well the country had been doing battling Covid-19.

Bloomfield said allowing 100-person gatherings was because of the “very low” level of new Covid-19 cases.

As for when we might finally make it to level 1, Cabinet is meeting on June 22 to decide that. Or discuss it at least. Dr Bloomfield said “we should spend two two-week periods at the full alert level 2, and then actively consider moving to alert level 1.”

What does level 1 look like?

At the moment, we still expect Ardern to outline the criteria for moving to alert level 1, which is the “prepare” stage, meaning the virus is contained in New Zealand.

However, it is understood that there is no need for social distancing or limits on social gathering attendees.

Intensive testing and rapid tracing and isolation of contacts would continue, and all schools and workplaces can open.

Border restrictions would continue to minimise the risk of importing Covid-19 cases.

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