Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Omicron is starting to spread among the population, announcing the introduction of the most stringent restrictions.
So-called shops and schools may remain open during the red alert, domestic travel is permitted, but masks must be carried for events of more than 100 people, and visits to non-vital stores are subject to a vaccination certificate.
Ardern stressed that strict border controls helped delay the widespread spread of omicron, giving New Zealand time to inject more vaccines and prepare for a more contagious variant that will arrive sooner or later. According to the Department of Health, 95 percent of those over the age of 12 are vaccinated once and 93 percent are vaccinated twice.
According to the prime minister, thousands of new infections could be expected each day in the country of 5 million people in the coming weeks – that doesn’t sound shocking to the Hungarian ear, as 15,000 new infections accumulate in Hungary one day, but there were no examples of such numbers in New Zealand , not even close.
The island nation has one of the lowest per capita deaths in the world, with 52 people dying from the coronavirus pandemic.
In response to a reporter’s question, Jacinda Ardern said she and her fiancé had decided to postpone their wedding scheduled for February because they did not want it to take place during the restrictions. “This is life,” the prime minister said, recalling that thousands of New Zealanders had to endure far greater ordeals. (guardian)