New Zealand has resumed three quarters of its economic activities as of Tuesday after easing lockdown measures against the novel coronavirus, local media reported.
With fewer COVID-19 cases reported, Wellington lifted some restrictions overnight, bringing the country-wide alert level a notch down to allow business to resume.
"75% of the economy was operating at level three, which started today [Tuesday], and there were now about 1 million New Zealanders at work," said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, according to the daily New Zealand Herald.
Ardern's government has notified 35 new employment centers across the country to help job seekers, while work on many road and rail projects resumed after a month of complete lockdown.
She also allowed small businesses to operate "if they can do so safely." Traffic increased on New Zealand roads and highways soon after the restrictions were eased.
However, Ardern cautioned that there would not be "one point in time when the fight against COVID-19 will be over, and the recovery room of alert level three didn't mean New Zealand was out of the woods.”
"We will have to keep stamping COVID-19 out until there is a vaccine."
New Zealand recorded only three positive cases of the virus on Tuesday, bringing the country's total to 1,472 in a 10th day in a row that the country has witnessed single-digit daily cases.
A total of 19 people have died due to the virus in the country.
However, country's health chief Ashley Bloomfield retracted his comments that country had "eliminated COVID-19."
Bloomfield said: "I can just clarify we haven't eliminated it, and we haven't eradicated it.''
He had said a day before: "The low number of new cases gives us confidence that we have achieved our goal of elimination."
According to news website stuff.com, schools will reopen after further easing restrictions at alert level two.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.