New Zealand relaxes Covid-19 restrictions

New Zealand’s largest city Auckland will ease restrictions on gatherings at midnight Wednesday, moving down from Covid-19 Alert Level 2.5 to 2, with the rest of the country moving down from Alert Level 2 to Level 1 from Monday midnight.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the announcement at a press conference on Monday while no new cases were reported in the country, reports Xinhua news agency.

Auckland saw a second wave of Covid-19 community outbreak in August, with transmissions contained locally.

Therefore, Auckland has maintained a higher alert level than the rest of New Zealand.

Auckland’s level 2 means that gathering restrictions will increase from 10 to 100 people.

At Alert Level 1, people need to be ready in case Covid-19 reappears.

Cabinet will review the alert levels again on October 5 on whether moving alert levels at 11.59 p.m. on October 7.

Since the Auckland cluster was revealed on August 12, contact tracers have identified 3,989 close contacts of cases, of which 3,978 have been contacted and are self-isolating, and officials were in the process of contacting the rest.

On Sunday, laboratories also processed 3,568 tests – bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 914,421.

New Zealand has so far reported a total of 1,815 coronavirus cases, with 25 deaths.