New Zealand on August 12 set out a specific strategy on reopening borders and restoring the economy, facing the difficult task of charting a path out of isolation during the Covid-19 epidemic.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday announced steps towards reopening after an independent advisory group recommended a cautious easing of restrictions from early next year, provided that all citizens have the opportunity to be vaccinated, according to SCMP.
“We will take a cautious approach, it will be difficult to maintain a no-case strategy when the country reopens. But when there is a case of infection in the community, we will put an end to the epidemic quickly,” Ms. Adern said. speak.
The Public Health Advisory Group on Covid-19 released a report saying reopening should initially be limited to fully vaccinated New Zealanders. These people may take short trips to low- and medium-risk countries.
The report did not specify a vaccination target and recommended that New Zealand continue its “no Covid-19” strategy even as border controls are eased.
Michael Plank, a professor of public health at the University of Otago in Wellington, predicts Mr. Ardern will make “very cautious” decisions.
“A major milestone will be the time when all adults and adolescents get two full doses of the vaccine by the end of 2021 or the beginning of 2022,” Plank said.
The New Zealand government will allow fully vaccinated foreigners to enter the country from a low-risk area, from early 2022, without the need to quarantine. Vaccinated people coming from an intermediate risk area may have to self-isolate.
Like a number of other countries and territories in the Asia-Pacific, such as Australia, China, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and the island of Taiwan, New Zealand relies heavily on tight border controls to secure its borders. prevent Covid-19.
New Zealand is one of the countries with the lowest number of Covid-19 deaths, with only 26. To date, New Zealand has recorded 2,904 cases of Covid-19, of which 2,841 have recovered.
New Zealanders’ lives have almost returned to normal. After the bad downturn of last year’s epidemic, the New Zealand economy has recovered strongly, with GDP growing by 1.6% in the first three months of 2021.
New Zealand is facing the risk of isolation, greatly affecting the tourism and education industries, because only about 20% of the population has been fully vaccinated. A part of New Zealanders has not yet felt the need for vaccination and some places see Covid-19 as not an existential threat.
Meanwhile, the government of New Zealand Prime Minister Ardern is under pressure to open up. The public’s share of Labor’s support for Ms. Ardern has fallen 10% to 43% but is still higher than the opposition National Party, which has 29% support, according to a survey last month.
Neil Carr, a professor at the University of Otago in New Zealand, says the tourism industry is desperate for Prime Minister Adern to find a way to help revive it. “The lack of international visitors to New Zealand is having a lot of negative consequences,” Mr. Carr said.