NZ’s first Covid cases in 24 days came from UK

New Zealand has confirmed two new cases of coronavirus, ending a 24-day streak of no new infections in the country.

Both cases had recently travelled from the UK and are connected, with local media reporting they had been given special exemption to attend a funeral.

Last week New Zealand lifted all domestic restrictions, declaring that the country was virus-free.

However, strict border restrictions remained in place – with only citizens and essential workers allowed in.

All arrivals in New Zealand are tested for Covid-19 and have to go through a 14-day period of isolation or quarantine.

Late last Monday, New Zealand moved into the lowest tier of its four-tier alert system – making it one of the few countries in the world to return to pre-pandemic normality.

Under this, social distancing is not required and there are no limits on public gatherings.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern celebrated the move but warned the country would “certainly see cases again”, adding that “elimination is not a point in time, it is a sustained effort”.

New Zealand has been lauded at a success story for its handling of the virus – it was quick to close its borders and implement a strict nationwide lockdown.

The newest cases bring New Zealand’s total number of cases since the outbreak began to 1,506. The death toll remains unchanged at 22.

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