NZ to reopen malls, cafes from Thursday as coronavirus curbs eased, Latest World News - The New Paper

NZ to reopen malls, cafes from Thursday as coronavirus curbs eased

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WELLINGTON : New Zealand businesses, including malls, cinemas, cafes and gyms, will reopen on Thursday after some of the tightest restrictions in the world to stop the spread of the coronavirus were further loosened yesterday.

The Pacific nation was locked down for more than a month under level 4 restrictions that were eased by a notch in late April.

It has continued to enforce strict social measures on many of its citizens and businesses, helping prevent widespread community spread of the virus.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the staggered move to level 2 restrictions will mean retail, restaurants and other public spaces can reopen from Thursday.

Schools can open from next Monday while bars can reopen only from May 21, Ms Ardern said. Gatherings would be limited to 10 people.

"The upshot is that in 10 days' time, we would have reopened most businesses in New Zealand and sooner than many other countries around the world," she said.

Businesses will be required to have physical distancing and strict hygiene measures in place.

International travel, however, will not be possible as borders will remain closed except for returning New Zealanders.

The measures will be reviewed again in two weeks.

Three new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed yesterday, the Health Ministry said in a statement. The cases bring New Zealand's infections to 1,147, the ministry said, adding that 93 per cent of all confirmed and probable cases have recovered.- REUTERS