The people of New Zealand celebrated Christmas in the warmth of midsummer with few restrictions on Saturday, in one of the few countries in the world largely untouched by the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
New Zealand has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world with 95 percent of adults having at least one dose of the vaccine. The only cases of Omicron found in New Zealand have been safely contained at the border.
Over the past two years, New Zealand used its isolation to its advantage as Covid-19 spread around the world. As a result of border controls, New Zealand recorded 50 deaths among 5.5 million people by Christmas this year.
The delta variant penetrated New Zealand’s defenses in August and its largest city, Auckland, was thrust into lockdown for 188 days. At its peak, the outbreak saw around 220 cases a day. Lately, the daily average has been around 50.
In August, the delta variant slipped past New Zealand’s defenses and the country’s largest city, Auckland, was placed in lockdown for 188 days. Near the height of the outbreak, around 220 new cases were reported daily. Lately, daily average is around 50.
In spite of their success, some New Zealanders working overseas haven’t been able to come home due to limits in the country’s managed isolation and quarantine processes. You could see empty chairs at some tables this holiday season because they were unable to return home due to restrictions in the country’s managed isolation and quarantine processes.
While New Zealanders enjoy the traditional dining tables of a northern winter – turkey and all the trimmings – they also conduct antipodean celebrations without turkey, with barbeques on beaches fringed by the native pohutukawa tree, which blooms during Christmas.
New Zealanders at Scott Base in Antarctica enjoyed a white Christmas. During the summer on the frozen continent, the sun never sets, and the temperature hovers around 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) throughout 24 hours of daylight.