New Zealand prepares to ease lockdown rules

New Zealand prepares to ease lockdown rules

A motorway sign reads "Be kind and stay calm" along a street devoid of cars in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in Wellington. (AFP photo)

New Zealand reported five new coronavirus cases Monday as the nation got ready to ease the rules on a strict lockdown from midnight.

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said there hasn't been widespread community transmission of the virus and the country has so far managed to avoid the worst scenarios for an outbreak.

She said it would continue to hunt down the last few cases.

 

From midnight, certain businesses such as construction will be allowed to reopen, but social distancing rules will still apply. Ardern said the nation was opening up the economy, but not people's social lives.