It’s been a long time coming but everything Kiwis have done over the past couple of months means New Zealand is finally able to return to something closely resembling normality while the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact many other countries.
The Government last week outlined what life at Alert Level 1 will look like for New Zealand and New Zealanders.
Alert Level 1 sees everyone being able to return without restriction to work, school, sports and domestic travel and you can get together with as many people as you want.
Controls at the borders remain for those entering New Zealand, including health screening and testing for all arrivals and mandatory 14-day managed quarantine or isolation.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it was also important that Kiwis keep the basic hygiene measures going that worked so well through higher alert levels.
“These include washing your hands and coughing or sneezing into your elbow. Remember to remain vigilant and being aware of physical distancing when out and about amongst strangers is a good habit to keep,” she said.
“We should all continue to keep track of where we’ve been and who we’ve seen to assist with rapid contact tracing if it is required.”
Businesses should assist customers to keep track of where they’ve been by displaying the Ministry of Health QR code, the PM said.
“This will be our new normal but, while we do return to pre-Covid life, we must remember we remain in a global pandemic.”
Cabinet will decide on Monday June 8 whether and when to move to Alert Level 1. Until then, Alert Level 2 measures apply.
The golden rules for everyone at Alert Level 1
If you’re sick, stay home. Don’t go to work or school. Don’t socialise.
If you have cold or flu symptoms call your doctor or Healthline and make sure you get tested.
Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.
Sneeze and cough into your elbow and regularly disinfect shared surfaces.
If you are told by health authorities to self-isolate, you must do so immediately.
If you’re concerned about your well-being, or have underlying health conditions, work with your GP to understand how best to stay healthy.
Keep track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen to help contact tracing if needed. Use the NZ Covid Tracer app as a handy way of doing this.
Businesses should help people keep track of their movements by displaying the Ministry of Health QR Code for contact tracing.
Stay vigilant. There is still a global pandemic going on. People and businesses should be prepared to act fast to step up Alert Levels if we have to.
People will have had different experiences over the last couple of months. Whatever you’re feeling — it’s okay. Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself.