New Zealand will remove many of its COVID-19 epidemic mandates in the next two weeks as an omicon outbreak begins to decline
WELLINGTON, New Zealand – New Zealand will remove many of its COVID-19 epidemic mandates in the next two weeks as the prevalence of the Omicron variant begins to decline.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Wednesday that from April 4, people will no longer need to be vaccinated to visit places like retail stores, restaurants and bars. Gone, there will be a need to scan the QR barcode in those places too.
A vaccine mandate for some staff, including teachers, police officers and waiters, will be abolished – although it will continue for healthcare and elderly care workers, border guards and correctional officers.
Also, the limit of 100 outdoor crowds has been exceeded since Friday This will allow the resumption of some major sporting events such as concerts and marathons. The internal limit of 100 people will be raised to 200 people and then it can be completely removed.
A requirement to stay in place is that people wear masks in many confined spaces, including in shops, public transport and for children 8 years and older, including in school classrooms.
“But when we succeeded, it was also bloody tough,” Ardern said.
“Everyone has had to give up something to do this, and some more than others,” he said.
The change means many restrictions will be lifted before tourists return to New Zealand.
Earlier this month, the government announced that Australian tourists would be welcomed from 12 April and from 1 May, tourists from many other countries, including the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, would be welcomed.
International tourism used to account for about 20% of New Zealand’s foreign income and more than 5% of GDP, but the South Pacific nation evaporated after the epidemic began, imposing some of the world’s strictest border controls.
New Zealand has seen the highest rates of coronavirus infection and hospitalization since the onset of the epidemic, with an average of 17,000 new infections being reported every day.
But Ardern said modeling shows that Auckland’s largest city has already significantly exceeded the peak of its Omicron prevalence and the rest of the country will soon follow suit.
Health experts have warned that some countries that lifted restrictions on Omicron fading are now facing further escalation of litigation.