New Zealand announced on Monday the closure of businesses and public activities, as well as mandatory confinement, due to COVID-19, while Australia will also impose limitations starting today, although it does not yet require the isolation of families.
At a press conference, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that within 48 hours, non-essential centers and activities, including schools, restaurants and sporting events, should cease and the population should isolate themselves at home.
“These decisions will represent the greatest restriction of movement for New Zealanders in modern history,” said Andern, who said that the premises that will remain open include supermarkets, pharmacies and health centers.
New Zealand registered 36 new cases on Monday, bringing the total to 112, most of whom were infected outside the country, although there are suspicions of some local transmission.
The Prime Minister warned that without these measures, the number of infected will double every five days, the health services will be inundated with patients and “tens of thousands of New Zealanders will die.”
In Australia, venues for meeting, entertainment, sports and worship will close from today.
Businesses affected by the closure order are pubs, clubs, gyms, cinemas, casinos, nightclubs, places of worship or religious gatherings, among others, according to the announcement made last night by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison after meet with the heads of state and territorial governments.
The Australian government indicated that essential services such as supermarkets or kindergartens, as well as schools will continue with their regular work, although it left open the possibility of closing them if the crisis caused by this coronavirus has worsened, which has already claimed seven lives and infected more than 1,600 people in the country.
“Australians will be living with this virus, we have been told, for at least six months. It may be longer. You cannot close three or four weeks for everything to happen. There is no short-term solution,” Morrison said Monday in the Parliament of Canberra.
Both New Zealand and Australia last week banned foreign tourists from entering the country to stem the rise in infections with the new coronavirus.