New Zealand is Corona free, lifts all Covid restrictions, and this augurs well for study abroad aspirants

After months of despair, the first good news comes from New Zealand which has been declared Corona free as there are no active cases in the country. Thus, the country has lifted almost all of its previously imposed Covid-19 restrictions.

All of New Zealand has moved to level one, the lowest of a four-tier alert system at midnight local time. No new Covid-19 cases have been reported for more than two weeks.

According to the new rules, social distancing is longer required and limits on public gatherings have also been removed. However, borders still remain closed to foreigners.

The country first went into a lockdown on March 25, and set up a new four-stage alert system. It went in at level four where most businesses were shut, schools closed and people were told to stay at home.

The nation then moved to level three in April, after more than five weeks of the lockdown. At this level, takeaway food joints and some non-essential businesses were allowed to re-open. Since then, as the number of community cases continued to decline, the country moved into level two in mid-May.

The level one was originally planned for June 22 but was brought forward as no new cases were reported for 17 days. 

Now, according to the new rules, schools and workplaces can open. Weddings, funerals and public transport can also resume without any restrictions. Though social distancing is not required, it will still be encouraged.

However, the country’s borders shall remain closed to international travellers. New Zealanders arriving from abroad will have to go through a 14-day period of quarantine.

Ms Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, warned that the country could certainly see cases again, adding that “elimination is not a point in time; it is a sustained effort”. 

The country has recorded 1,154 confirmed cases and 22 deaths from Covid-19 since late February. However, the situation was efficiently handled, drawing praises for the country.

The announcement is nothing less than a cause for celebration for many – but not without caution. It indeed is a cause for celebration for study abroad aspirants eyeing New Zealand, whose hopes were dashed with the outbreak of Coronavirus. The latest turn of events is highly likely to bring good news from different universities as well.

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