October 4, 2021 Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern admitted Monday that New Zealand’s widely praised “Covid zero” strategy had failed to halt an outbreak in Auckland and said a new approach was needed.
Now the lockdown restrictions in Auckland will be eased slightly, even though new case numbers have not fallen.
Auckland will remain in lockdown for now but the government will conduct weekly reviews to time the reintroduction of freedoms.
City residents can meet outdoors in groups of up to 10 from Wednesday and steps such as reopening shops and schools will be considered in the coming weeks.
The rest of the country was allowed out of lockdown in early September.
Before the Auckland outbreak, New Zealand’s elimination strategy was widely lauded by bodies such at the World Health Organization, with just 27 deaths in a population of five million.
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