New Zealand jumps from the coronavirus closure with bungee jumping, midnight haircuts
SYDNEY/WELLINGTON: After seven weeks tied up with some of the world's toughest curves, New Zealanders like Jim Boult took the opportunity to celebrate the end of the country's closure on Thursday, literally in their case, with a bungee jump.
As mayor of the South Island adventure and adventure resort, Queenstown, Boult's dome in front of the Kawarau Bridge was as exciting for television cameras to attract the attention of visitors as an act of exuberance. But the sense of relief at the prospect of a return to some kind of normalcy was shared across the country.
In Auckland, residents queued from midnight at hair salons and salons for their first shot at a professional hairstyle in nearly two months, according to local media reports. In, families strolled along the shoreline, while others waited in stores ready to reopen with security measures.
It has been an avalanche of people making the reservation, which is why we are completely broken for the next two to three weeks, Ali Kamaruddin, the owner of a barber shop in the northern coastal city of Tauranga, told state broadcaster TVNZ. We expect everything, long hair, homemade haircuts, great things.
While dramatically reducing the spread of the disease, some of the strictest social distancing restrictions worldwide have dealt a major economic blow to New Zealand's $ 200 billion economy, which is dependent on trade and tourism.
The country had less than 1,497 confirmed cases and less than 90 people are still sick. He reported extensive testing and there were no new cases for the third consecutive day on Thursday, and only 21 people have died.
The restrictions were eased a bit in late April, but Thursday's further relaxation to 'level 2' on the Pacific nation's alert scale allows for the reopening of shops, restaurants, and other public spaces, including playgrounds.
Traffic returned to the country's highways and the office towers were filled with employees who returned after weeks of working from home. Schools only open next week, but offices were allowed to start on Thursday.
New Zealanders can travel between regions, students will be able to return to school starting on Monday, while the bars will reopen from May 21. Social gatherings, including for weddings and other religious ceremonies, will be limited to 10 people.
Back in Queenstown, Boult embraced the prospect of now allowed national tourism.
Enthusiasm for local travel will bring a much-needed boost to our local economy and the thousands of locals who will benefit from the return to work this will bring, Boult said.