New Zealand PM Criticises Protesters For Flouting COVID-19 Rules

New Zealand PM Criticises Protesters For Flouting COVID-19 Rules

However, he told Morning Report that, because it was outdoors, it's probably manageable. Her comments came as health officials announced an 11th straight day of no new Covid-19 cases recorded in New Zealand.

Bidois, the Northcote MP, said National wanted New Zealand to go to alert level 1.

"The fact that some people think they're above the law is not an acceptable circumstance, that's what's at issue here", he told Radio New Zealand.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said this meant the country could move to alert level 1 as soon as next week, after Cabinet's meeting on June 8.

The country also confirmed there had only been 71 new infection in the 24-hour period.

While she has not detailed exactly what the so-called "level 1" alert entails, Ardern said on Tuesday that it would likely involve abandoning any remaining rules limiting gathering sizes or requiring physical distancing, meaning that life would largely return to normal. "It's border controls - and they remain critical - and of course public hygiene measures". Foreigners are not permitted to enter the country.

New Zealand is one of the world's most open economies, but there have been calls for the county to open further, given persistently low case numbers.

"The most important thing for our economy is we don't go backwards", Ardern said. The country was under lockdown for almost seven weeks.

"So far that tail or spike has not eventuated and there is increasing optimism that we will not see any cases within the transmission cycle since moving to level 2", Ardern said, referring to the current level of restrictions in place. That is why I am so grateful to the efforts of New Zealanders. Gatherings are limited to 100 people.

New Zealand protesters hold a vigil against the killing of Minneapolis man George Floyd in a Black Lives Matter protest outside Parliament in Wellington on June 1, 2020.

But she remained cautious about allowing greater economic activity before the virus was propertly stamped out.

But she was concerned that large crowds - estimated at about 2,000 in Auckland - could undermine New Zealand's success in fighting the virus as they stood shoulder-to-shoulder in solidarity with United States protesters. Officers had not moved to break up Monday's peaceful gatherings.

New Zealand is now on level two of its four-tier virus alert system and Ardern said that could change as early as next week, essentially removing domestic restrictions while maintaining strict border controls. But she could not "condone" the gatherings, she said separately.

But Peters is publicly agitating for a fast return to alert level 1, given the lack of compliance with the rules on the protests. However, it was up to Police to decide how they should have handled the protest. Demonstrators said they were also opposing racism within the police and a recent trial of armed police.

He said abiding by the rules were a large part of why New Zealand's response had been so effective.

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