Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has hinted at easing of COVID-19 restrictions

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Feb 21, 2022 |

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has hinted a an easing some COVID-19 restrictions, but not during the peak of Omicron.

In this afternoon’s press conference she said “Covid will increase, and rapidly. There will be disruption and pressure from Omicron. We must brace through the next six weeks, but we can do so knowing a future with fewer restrictions is near. Because that has always been the course we have charted.”

“We’ve stopped using lockdowns. Our borders reopen to Kiwis in Australia in a week, and we progressively keep opening. Our use of MIQ which has helped us so much will change dramatically. And as we reach that peak and start to come down, we can start to move towards a life that feels a little more like a new normal that we can all live with.”

The Prime Minister said “2022 is about moving forward. New Zealand is in demand internationally and again, our primary goal is to manage Covid with few restrictions and accelerate our economic recovery while continuing to ensure that lives and livelihoods are protected.”

“And while everything I have said today has been directed to every New Zealander who is anxious about the future – either because they’re afraid or because they just want Covid to be over – I’ll leave this final message for those occupying the lawns of parliament.”

The Prime Minister said “everyone is over Covid. No one wants to live with rules or restrictions. But had we not all been willing to work together to protect one another, then we all would have been worse off as individuals, including losing people we love.”

“That hasn’t happened here for the most part – and that is a fact worth celebrating, rather than protesting.”

“We all want to go back to the way life was. And we will, I suspect sooner than you think. But when that happens, it will be because easing restrictions won’t compromise the lives of thousands of people – not because you demanded it.”

“Now is not the time to dismantle our hard work and preparation, to remove our armour just as the battle begins.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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