WELLINGTON - New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says all coronavirus measures in the country will be lifted from Tuesday 9 June, barring border closure restrictions, as the coronavirus has been eliminated from the country.
New Zealanders will move to national alert level one from midnight on Monday, the PM said in a news conference. Public and private events, the retail and hospitality industries and all public transport can resume with social distancing norms.
“While we’re in a safer, stronger position there’s still no easy path back to pre-Covid-19 life, but the determination and focus we have had on our health response will now be vested in our economic rebuild,” Ms Ardern said.
The announcement came as Air New Zealand revealed that it will need to make further cutbacks as it seeks to become nimbler, flying fewer passengers and routes, as it targets a return to "healthy profits" by 2022.
Chief executive Greg Foran laid out an 800-day plan under which the national flag carrier will look at how to further cut labour costs, including leave without pay, reduced hours or possibly laying off more people.
"We must first survive, then revive and finally thrive," Mr Foran said in an email to staff and customers, as he forecast revenue for the next financial year to more than halve from recent levels.
The CEO envisions Air New Zealand will be 70% of its pre-Covid-19 size by August 2022.