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Jacinda Ardern Says New Zealand Will Not 'Learn To Live' With Covid-19 Like The UK

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Jacinda Ardern Says New Zealand Will Not 'Learn To Live' With Covid-19 Like The UK

Jacinda Ardern has broken ranks with some of her international counterparts and declared New Zealand is not going to 'learn to live' with the pandemic.

Many leaders and health officials have urged against the idea of zero cases of coronavirus and insisted it will essentially be like the flu in the coming years.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced plans to scrap social distancing rules on July 19.

While many welcomed the move, the PM said Britain had to 'learn to live' with Covid-19 and warned we could soon be seeing up to 50,000 cases a day and more deaths.

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He added that the UK 'must reconcile ourselves' to the idea that the coronavirus won't be eliminated.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

But Mr Johnson's Kiwi counterpart doesn't think that situation is acceptable for her citizens and won't be following suit.

During a press conference, Ms Ardern was asked about the UK's approach, where she said: "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."

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The country's Covid-19 response minister, Chris Hipkins, added: "That's not something that we have been willing to accept in New Zealand.

"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.'"

Kiwi authorities have also hinted they wouldn't be afraid to restrict the number of flights from the UK if case numbers did start to go up.

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New Zealand was quick to do that when India experienced a massive outbreak of the coronavirus and Director-general of health, Ashley Bloomfield, said they will be watching the situation closely.

"If they do get an increase in cases, we will be keeping a close eye on what that means for the risk of people traveling from the UK and that will inform our decisions here," he said.

While New Zealand continues to edge towards a zero cases style world, Australia is moving more towards the UK.

When revealing the country's four-step roadmap out of the pandemic, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Aussies would have to treat Covid-19 like 'any other infectious disease'.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: New Zealand, News, Coronavirus

Stewart Perrie
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