TUESDAY, APRIL 28
Big Macs, nuggets and fries were foremost on the minds of many New Zealanders as they celebrated the end of the country’s tough five week lockdown.
On Tuesday, the New Zealand government lifted the most extreme measures of its response to COVID-19 and tens of thousands of Kiwis lined up in Maccas drive-through lanes well before dawn.
For many New Zealanders the lifting of the lockdown meant a return to work.
For others, it meant getting stuck into take-away.
Jacinda Ardern’s government banned all restaurants from operating during the five-week level-four lockdown, making New Zealanders reliant on supermarkets and local dairies for their food.
With the restrictions lifted, many want straight for the golden arches.
In New Plymouth, the local McDonalds store had customers waiting in line at the drive-through from 3:30am, according to Radio NZ.
In other COVID-19 news:
- After NSW, Queensland and Western Australia announced plans to loosen social distancing restrictions this week, Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews has said he will not take similar steps before mass testing for coronavirus is completed. He added that other states pulling back on restrictions was a “matter for them”, and warned against lifting lockdown measures before knowing whether the virus was still moving through the community
- NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has said she intends for school students to be back on campus full-time by the end of term two, after a staggered return to classrooms from May 11. This timeline will be revised after a fortnight of having students in school on a rostered basis, the Premier said. “We’re very hopeful that the first few weeks of school returning will result in us being able to possibly truncate the process; to have full time face-to-face student attendance quicker than anticipated,” Ms Berejiklian told reporters on Tuesday morning.
- Queensland had no new cases announced today. Health Minister Steven Miles said only 13 people were known to have fallen ill with COVID-19 in the past week bringing the state’s active cases to 93. “This is another zero day for Queensland, and my favourite days are zero days,” he said.
- The head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) says the coronavirus pandemic is “far from over” and is still disrupting normal health services, especially life-saving immunisation for children in the poorest countries. The UN agency is concerned about rising numbers of cases and deaths in Africa, eastern Europe, Latin America and some Asian countries even as the numbers flatten or decline in some wealthier countries. “We have a long road ahead of us and a lot of work to do,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual news conference in Geneva on Monday, adding that a second wave of infections could be prevented with the right actions.
- More than 2 million people have downloaded the Federal Government’s COVIDSafe coronavirus tracing app a little over 24 hours after its release.
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