Gathering numbers increased to 100, Alert Level 1 likely by end of June
Auckland, May 25, 2020
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said that gatherings up to 100 persons will be allowed by midday (12 pm) on Friday, May 29, 2020 with New Zealand recorded no new cases of Coronavirus for the third consecutive day.
Director General Dr Ashely Bloomfield said that health officials continue work in communities and are fairly confident that Covid-19 transmission was receding.
However, Ms Ardern said that ‘we are not there yet’ and would need another five weeks or so before the country could release itself completely from the constraints of the disease.
She said that various notifications need to be issued by various ministries and departments relating to the increase of gathering numbers to 100 and hence the five-day gap between now and Friday.
New Zealand moved to Alert Level 2 on May 14, 2020- about three weeks this weekend, which, according to health experts the time required to observe the effect of changes in restrictions.
“We can now be highly confident, more than three weeks after the shift to Level 3, that there are no new cases attributable to the more relaxed restrictions which we had as we stepped down into Level 3 and started moving beyond that. On the basis of this good news, the Cabinet decided (at today’s meeting) that we can now increase the size of all gatherings to 100 from 12 noon this Friday,” she said during her weekly media conference in Wellington today.
Ms Arden hastened to add that this was an advantage for New Zealand and New Zealanders since most other countries were pursuing more stringent Covid-19 regulations.
“This is good news for businesses and those looking for gatherings. However, hospital venues should continue to follow other restrictions. We should not lose the advantage that we have gained over the past several weeks,” she said.
Ms Ardern said that the Cabinet will consider moving to Alert Level 1 at its meeting on June 8, 2020.
Thereafter, the expectation is that the decision will take effect by the end of June.
Domestic travel has recommenced with Air New Zealand announcing its new schedules today.
Travel between Australia and New Zealand will commence when the latter is ready to lift its international travel restrictions.