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Jacinda Ardern announces New Zealand will ease the lockdown to level 3 from next Monday

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New Zealand will move to level 3 of lockdown from 11.59 pm next Monday. Alert level 3 will be held for two weeks and then Cabinet will evaluate whether to move down another level.

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Newzealand introduced its highest, level 4 lockdown measures in late March, under which offices, schools and all non-essential services including bars, restaurants, cafes, and playgrounds were shut down.

On Monday, only nine new cases of COVID-19 were recorded and no new deaths, taking the total to 1,440 cases with 12 fatalities, reported Reuters.

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand, which has been much stricter than many other countries, including neighboring Australia, had done what very few others have been able to do.

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Any businesses needing to prepare to move into level 3 could be accessed, Ardern said, as could schools, to prepare for the return of pupils. April 28 will be a teachers’ only day and April 29 will be the first day of term.

Shops, malls, hardware stores, and restaurants will remain shut but can permit online or phone purchases.

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