New Zealand will not follow UK's 'live with Covid' policy: Jacinda Ardern

WION Web Team
Dunedin, New ZealandUpdated: Jul 07, 2021, 07:33 PM IST

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (file photo) Photograph:(AFP)

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New Zealand has also said that the UK will be added to the 'no-fly' list if Covid cases increase after restrictions are relaxed in the country

As the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked people to "live with" coronavirus, his New Zealand counterpart, Jacinda Ardern, has dismissed any plans of following this plan.

After Johnson’s announcement, Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand has no plans of adopting the same plan as the UK and it would be completely "unacceptable".

The government also added that the UK would be added to the ‘no-fly’ list if cases increased after all Covid restrictions are lifted in the European country.

"If they do get an increase in cases, we will be keeping a close eye on what that means for the risk of people travelling from the UK and that will inform our decisions here," Director-general of health, Ashley Bloomfield said.

New Zealand's opposition towards UK's plan has come after Boris Johnson, on Monday, announced new plans to scrap rules of wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing from July 19. Johnson told citizens to "learn to live with" the coronavirus. "We must reconcile ourselves, sadly, to more deaths from Covid," Johnson said.

"That's not something that we have been willing to accept in New Zealand," COVID-19 response minister, Chris Hipkins, said at a press conference alongside Ardern. "One of the things the UK government have been very clear about [is] that there will be a spike in cases, potentially thousands of cases a day. There will be more people dying."

"We are likely to see more incremental change than dramatic change where we wake up one morning and say: 'We just go back to the way things were before COVID-19," he added.

In the same conference, Ardern was asked if, like Johnson, she would also request locals to accept Covid deaths. "Different countries are taking different choices," she said in response. "The priority for me is how do we continue to preserve what New Zealand has managed to gain and give ourselves options, because this virus is not done with the world yet."