New Zealand keeps borders closed for the time being
New Zealand’s borders will remain hermetically closed for the time being. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Thursday that she plans to apply the corona measures at the border indefinitely. She explained a long-awaited easing plan for the country. As far as Ardern is concerned, some form of Covid-19 control remains necessary before arriving in New Zealand.
„Just like after 9/11 [de aanslag op de Amerikaanse Twin Towers in 2001] the border will never be the same after Covid. (…) But that doesn’t mean we can’t adapt to change in a way that eventually feels ‘normal’ again,” she said.
Since the start of the corona crisis, only New Zealanders have been able to return home, and they must be quarantined in a hotel for fourteen days immediately after arrival in the country. A previously opened travel bubble with Australia has already been suspended due to multiple Delta outbreaks in the neighboring country. The government is considering allowing vaccinated travelers from countries with low infection rates, without quarantine obligation, from the first quarter of 2022. For visitors with an average risk, some form of self-isolation or a shorter stay in a quarantine hotel would apply.
Ardern’s decision takes into account a recent advisory report from experts, in which it is recommended to exercise restraint with easing. According to her, New Zealand can still best focus on methods to keep the virus at bay while continuing to support its own economy. There are hardly any restrictions in the country itself. Due to a strict lockdown at the start of the pandemic, only 26 people have died from the effects of the virus in the country. Only 17 percent of the 5 million inhabitants have been fully vaccinated, but Prime Minister Ardern also announced on Thursday that all residents can make an appointment for a vaccination from September 1.
Welcome to this blog
In this blog, the editors of NRC keep track of the news about the corona virus in the Netherlands and abroad. These were the most important developments of Wednesday 11 August.
- Two parliamentarians from Forum for Democracy, Gideon van Meijeren and Simone Kerseboom, refuse to appear before the new integrity committee of the House of Representatives. There they have to answer for themselves because they have not adhered to the corona rules in parliament. However, Van Meijeren and Kerseboom are not planning to go.
- Seven of the twenty-five Dutch security regions currently have a ‘very serious’ risk level. That is a half compared to last week, when fourteen regions were classified that way.
- Through a technical malfunction On Wednesday afternoon, fewer positive tests were registered at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) than were actually established.
Read here the whole blog of August 11 back