The New Zealand government has announced the complete removal of all remaining Covid-19 restrictions.
This includes the end of the legal requirement to self-isolate for seven days if one tests positive for Covid-19 and the discontinuation of the mandate to wear masks in healthcare and aged care facilities. The changes were officially implemented on August 15th.
Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall made the announcement during a post-Cabinet press conference. They emphasized that the decision was based on the assessment that the public health risk posed by Covid-19 was now relatively low compared to earlier stages of the pandemic. Hipkins acknowledged the challenging period that the country and the world had gone through and described this move as a significant milestone in transitioning out of the pandemic response phase.
The decision to lift the restrictions was not influenced by any upcoming elections, according to Hipkins, and the government now awaits the results of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic.
It’s important to note that while the legal requirements have been removed, individuals are still encouraged to take responsible actions to prevent the spread of the virus. This may include voluntarily self-isolating if one tests positive and continuing to practice good hygiene measures.