New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has extended the national lockdown until next Tuesday. Ardern considers the extension necessary due to the contagious Delta variant and because eleven new infections were identified on Friday in connection with a cluster in Auckland. There, a 58-year-old man tested positive last Monday. A total of 31 people have tested positive in the new outbreak, but Ardern said a press conference not being able to monitor the full scale of the epidemic.
The announced lockdown was in effect in Auckland until Tuesday and has now been extended nationwide. Schools and offices were closed, only essential services remained open. “We’ve done it before, we know the elimination strategy is working,” Ardern said. The man’s positive test in Auckland was the first confirmed case of Covid-19 in the country since February. New Zealand then succeeded in curbing the pandemic with strict lockdowns and tight controls on inbound travelers.
Ardern’s cabinet will meet next Monday to determine whether a further extension of the lockdown is needed. The Prime Minister initially received a lot of praise for his policy, but now it is increasingly criticized. Especially since the vaccination starts slowly. Only 20 percent of more than 5 million inhabitants are fully vaccinated. There are still strict restrictions on international travel within the country, which will begin next year. wants to allow tourists again.
This article is also part of our live blog: Israel will also vaccinate people over 40 with a third vaccine
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