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New Zealand’s virus-free status ends as 2 new cases are reported

The country became virus-free on 8 June. However, two people who recently arrived from the UK have now tested positive.

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Wellington: New Zealand reported two new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, bringing an end to its virus-free status.

Two people recently arrived from the U.K. tested positive for the virus, the Ministry of Health said in a statement. Both cases are connected, but the ministry didn’t give any further details. Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield will provide an update at 3 p.m. local time.

New Zealand became virus-free on June 8, when the last of its previous patients recovered, and lifted the last remaining restrictions of people and businesses that day. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at the time there would almost certainly be further cases given the spread of the virus overseas, but as long as they came from outside the country and were quickly identified and isolated, they would not require restrictions to be reimposed.

New Zealand’s border is closed, with only citizens and residents — and some government-sanctioned exemptions — allowed into the country. Every arrival must enter a two-week quarantine. -Bloomberg

Also read: New Zealand rebrands as a safe haven in Covid world as it works on rebuilding economy


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