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07th Jul 2021

New Zealand refuses to risk UK-style ‘live with Covid’ policy, says Jacinda Ardern

Kieran Galpin

Ardern is not taking risks

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has rebuked the suggestion that her country will follow in the footsteps of the UK. She said that “living with Covid” is not an option as the number of deaths is “unacceptable”. The Guardian also reports that New Zealand will put the UK on the no-fly list if cases continue to climb.

July 19th will be the long-awaited Freedom day here in the UK. Having been initially pushed back by four weeks, Johnson outlined the next stages of his plan on Monday. He insisted that the UK must “learn to live with the virus” despite numerous suggestions that things are moving too fast. His release of mandatory mask-wearing has also been heavily judged, with numerous scientific officials saying that masks should continue to remain a constant in our lives.

However, during a press conference alongside Ardern, Covid-19 response minister, Chris Hipkins, iterated how New Zealand will not follow the UK in its decision.

“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,” he said.

“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.’”

Ardern also commented on the situation:

“Different countries are taking different choices.

“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.”

Ardern’s handling of the pandemic has been celebrated globally over the past year. She was initially swift at shutting down the country. To this day, there have only been 2,763 cases and only twenty-six deaths. Though many would cite their smaller population as a reason for their low case numbers, Arden’s handling of the pandemic is undeniably effective.