New Zealand Says It’s Ready if Virus Returns In Summer Vacation

New Zealand’s government said it has plans in place to deal with a Covid-19 outbreak if one occurs over the summer vacation.

“The virus is continuing to rage offshore and despite our best efforts, there’s always the possibility of further community cases here,” Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said in a statement Tuesday in Wellington. “The summer holiday period poses some unique challenges in responding to an outbreak. Large numbers of us will be traveling for holidays or seasonal work, there are more social gatherings and large events such as festivals and, like other Kiwis, there will be health system workers taking well-deserved leave.”

New Zealand has eliminated community transmission of the virus, but it continues to catch infections at the border and has experienced some minor community outbreaks. While these have all been successfully contained, there’s always a risk that the virus will re-emerge.

The government has prepared for various scenarios so that it can respond quickly if that occurs during the holiday period, Hipkins said. The health system is on standby, people and resources are on call and supply chains are stocked. A new Resurgence Support Payment would be made available to affected businesses in the event restrictions needed to be reimposed.

“If we find it, we’ll stamp it out, and we’ve made sure the government’s Covid-19 team, and the national support network, are ready,” Hipkins said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.