After three consecutive days with no new coronavirus cases reported, New Zealand allowed most businesses to reopen on Thursday.
The island country, which is home to nearly 5 million people, has been praised for its swift response to the spread of the coronavirus. New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has even said that the country has “won [the] battle” of widespread COVID-19 community transmission.
“We went hard and we went early. We got control of the virus, and now we’re in a position where we can safely step out of those controls and open our economy back up,” Ardern said in a Facebook Live video this week.
The country’s new stage is Alert Level 2, which means that “all businesses can open to customers if they can do it safely.” Travel among regions is approved, and schools are allowed to open. Still, social gatherings are limited to 10 people. Physical distancing is still strongly encouraged and wide-scale testing is taking place.
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