New Zealand drops mask rules as life returns to ‘normal’

New Zealand drops mask rules as life returns to 'normal'
New Zealand has eased most of its Covid-19 restrictions. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: New Zealand has changed its mask rules. As Covid-19 cases continue to drop, face masks are no longer mandatory on public transport in most of New Zealand.

From midnight on Wednesday, the mask rules required only in Auckland, the heart of a recent outbreak, and on planes.

The rest of New Zealand lifted all coronavirus pandemic restrictions on Monday.

New Zealand was widely praised for its swift response to coronavirus and everyday life largely went back to normal in June, but in August, the virus reappeared in Auckland.

The country’s biggest city went back into temporary lockdown, as other curbs were re-imposed elsewhere.

New Zealand has now recorded 25 deaths and 1,468 confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Everywhere except Auckland returned to level one alert system – the lowest of a four-tier alert system – on Monday after seven days of no Covid-19 community cases.

This means life almost as normal – no more social distancing or caps on gatherings such as sporting events or weddings. A mask is no longer compulsory on public transport and everyone can return to work without restriction,

The government of New Zealand says face coverings aren’t necessary for the general public when there is no evidence of community transmission.

But the government is still encouraging people to wear masks on public transport. In Auckland, now at level two, they are still compulsory.

Also, passengers on planes flying to, from and via Auckland – as well as on all Air New Zealand flights – are still required to wear masks.

Authorities reported three new community cases on Wednesday, that are not linked to the Auckland cluster. They are connected to a recent chartered flight from Christchurch to Auckland.

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