New Zealand ends second lockdown in Auckland

Sydney, Australia, Aug 31 (efe-epa).- People in Auckland, New Zealand’s most populated city, were able to step out into the streets from Monday as the authorities lifted the lockdown measures imposed on Aug. 12 following a resurgence of Covid-19.

Schools and shops in Auckland, which has 1.7 million inhabitants, opened their doors with some restrictions after the alert level was moved from 3 to 2 from the last midnight.

Under the new alert level, gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed and it is mandatory for people over the age of 12 to wear masks on public transport.

Thousands of people flocked to the domestic terminals of the Auckland International Airport’s domestic terminal after three weeks of a strict confinement.

Although all of them were wearing masks, it seemed impossible to maintain social distancing at the baggage drop off and check-in areas, according to the images posted on social media.

“Everyone feels a bit tired. We have been going through this since the end of February. The whole world is. But relative to others, we are doing really well. We will be able to get in front of the virus again if everyone does their part,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told journalists on Monday.

New Zealand has been combating a resurgence of Covid-19 after the virus was detected in four family members in Auckland in the middle of the month.

On Monday, the country recorded nine Covid-19 infections, five of them by local transmission, and four detected at quarantine centers.

Since the start of the pandemic, New Zealand has registered 1,387 infections, including 22 deaths and 131 active cases, according to data from the country’s health ministry. However, it has yet to find the origin of the outbreak in Auckland.

The government of New Zealand, which has a population of just under 4.9 million, has been praised worldwide for its quick response to the pandemic, imposing a lockdown in the country in March and closing its borders when it had about 50 Covid-19 infections. EFE-EPA


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