Because of Omicron: New Zealand is tightening corona measures
Status: 01/23/2022 11:27 am
Because a family that tested positive for Omikron came into contact with several other people, New Zealand’s head of government is tightening the measures in the country. Her own wedding also falls victim to the new restrictions.
Because of the outbreak of the omicron variant in the country, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has tightened the corona measures. Because a family who had flown to Auckland for a wedding tested positive for the variant, the so-called red pandemic stage was triggered. From Monday, masks will again be compulsory in shops and public transport. In addition, the number of participants at events is limited.
The family from the Nelson-Marlborough region in New Zealand attended other events in addition to the wedding during their stay in Auckland and is estimated to have come into contact with “well over 100 people”, Ardern explained. “This means that omicron is now circulating in Auckland and possibly the Nelson-Marlborough region, if not elsewhere,” she added.
Ardern underlined that “red” does not mean a lockdown. Shops could remain open, people could continue to visit friends and family and move freely around the country. The strategy for dealing with early-stage Omicron remains the same as Delta, Ardern said. Rapid tests, contact tracing and isolation of infected and contact persons are used to slow the spread.
Ardern calls off own wedding
Ardern’s own wedding is now also affected by the new contact entanglements. “My wedding will not take place,” she said after the new restrictions were announced. Ardern and her longtime partner Clarke Gayford hadn’t announced a date for their wedding celebration, but it was thought to take place in the coming weeks. The new corona restrictions should apply at least until the end of next month. “That’s life,” she said when asked how she felt about her canceled wedding reception.
It has been suggested that Ardern was planning to wed partner Clarke Gayford in the next few weeks.
She is like many other New Zealanders who have had similar experiences because of the pandemic, said Ardern. It is even worse not being able to be with a loved one who is seriously ill during the pandemic. “It far outweighs the sadness I feel,” Ardern said.
New Zealand’s tough Corona course
New Zealand was one of the few countries to have avoided outbreaks of the omicron variant to date. However, last week Ardern acknowledged that an outbreak was inevitable given the high contagiousness of the new virus variant. New Zealand has counted 15,104 Covid-19 cases and 52 deaths since the beginning of the corona pandemic. In the past two years, strict entry regulations have applied most of the time, and short lockdowns have been imposed time and again.
About 93 percent of New Zealanders aged 12 and over are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, and 52 percent have also received a booster shot. The country has started vaccinating children between the ages of five and eleven.