No new cases of Covid-19 for 18th day, but stricter border measures in place – Bloomfield

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There are no new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand on the first day of alert level 1.

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Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield confirmed the 18th day since New Zealand last reported a new case of Covid-19, on 22 May.

“We are confident we have eliminated community transmission of the virus here in New Zealand,” Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said at the briefing today.

Bloomfield said there was worry of a new case after two siblings in Auckland were tested – one came back negative, one was a weak positive. Further testing showed a negative result, however.

Yesterday the Health Ministry declared the final remaining active case in New Zealand had now recovered, and there were no new cases.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern yesterday also announced the country was ready to move to alert level 1.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, New Zealand has reported 1504 confirmed and probable cases. Of these, 1482 have recovered and 22 have died.

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Dr Bloomfield said restrictions at the border have increased as restrictions domestically are eased.

From today people in managed isolation will not be allowed to apply for exemptions to attend funerals and tangihanga.

They will still be able to apply for leave on compassionate grounds to be with a small group of people before or after the event.

“We need to keep Covid-19 out to keep our domestic economy operating as freely as possible,” Bloomfield said.

Those applying for exemptions for leave from managed isolation can only be with a small group of “between five and 10” people.

He said people should initiate the exemption process before they land in New Zealand.

Bloomfield said changes at the borders were “watertight” and “airtight” for those coming in via air or water.

He said people coming in through the borders will not be allowed to attend events with a large number of people now that the country is in alert level 1.

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“We have done the hard mahi here. Our work has paid off,” Bloomfield said adding that there was still a pandemic “raging beyond our shores”.

He said there would be new cases of Covid-19 in the future and people at the border are being tested whether they have symptoms or not.

The ministry was prepared for any new cases that might still be onshore, he said.

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