New Zealand

On March 23, when the number of cases rose above 100, Ms Ardern imposed a rigid lockdown shutting most businesses and confining people to their homes except to buy food, seek medical treatment or take limited exercise. She warned that Italy — which has lost nearly 34,000 to the coronavirus — once also had only 100 cases.

Lockdown on the North Island

Glad you are online BBO; we love it and play free goulash tournaments all the time. In case you are every inspired my name is mitasol and I'm happy to play with you .. but only goulash :)

Are you not even allowed outside for a walk? How do you keep healthy if you can't walk? That's really tough

Lockdown 16. We have been in total lock down for a week now and it isn't impossibly difficult for me as I live in a lovely place that is reasonably remote so chances of being fine are good. I have good neighbours which helps and my companion is in my 'bubble'' which we call it here.... Our PM is simply a star and is handling this soooo well. We are very proud of our Jacinda! We are up to 600 cases with one death to date. Hopefully the early lock down will work in our favour.

Meanwhile we are having an Indian summer, so much so that i am getting fairly desperate for water tank is very low, so showers are short and any water use is conservative in the extreme. Hey ho, tis life!! We are walking lots, gardening, cooking, stewing figs from the neighbour's fig tree, making soup, connecting lots with friends on social media, walking the dog, playing lots of online Bridge..... having a blast!!

Lockdown 60 . We are now allowed to see people at a distance of 1 metre minimum and up a maximum of 10 at a time. So it's back to doing lots of stuff

From a goulash bridge playing friend on North Island : we shared hilarious games aboard the Silver Explorer in late 2019



Lockdown in Napier, on the North Island

As for lockdown. We were not  affected by it like many people were. The real challenges are yet to come. The country is lucky in that it was a reasonably easy one to manage for the obvious geographical reasons. I personally got tired of hearing about Covid19 very early on in the piece, not being a fan of our PM at the best of times. But most people think she did an okay job, though it was basically managed by the Health Department anyway. On the positive side I completed a novel that had suffered a long gestation period... 20 years or more, so that was good. 

By 31/5/2020 lockdown had been lifted so that he could travel to Auckland to see his children

an artist friend found through genealogy, living in Napier, North Island, May 2020

In 2018 he had written: We are extremely lucky and grateful to be living in a country with such a wonderful health system.


Lockdon in Dunedin, on the South Island

We arrived at the Lake Ohau Lodge ( 80 k S of Fox Glacier) on Friday 15 May which was the first day that such travel had been permitted. We found ourselves sitting spaced around a roaring open fire in the centre of the dining area having a celebratory drink with the owner and his wife and three other couples - the only guests in the 62 room accommodation. The Lodge has an associated skifield and in the season ~July-September normally hosts the US Ski team training 'down under' so they will feel the impact of the covid pandemic. There is talk of a deal to enable Australians to come over for the skiing as about 50% of skifield patronage is from across the Tasman. On the second night at Ohau there were more guests but nowhere near the normal numbers.

Life is getting pretty close to being back to normal here with no new cases for some time and the Government is being attacked by the opposition for not yet allowing a full relaxation of caution. There are still quite a number of Kiwis abroad who are dribbling back as flights permit and will be going into strict quarantine on arrival. The US covid situation is quite tragic and even the UK has been much worse than might be expected for a highly developed country. We feel so fortunate in comparison but the economic impact is yet to be fully felt.


ohau1 .50 years

Celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary at Lake Otau on the first avalable opportunity : Jeanette 2nd from left, Jim on the right

- a friend nade through genealogy, living Dunedin 31/5/2020 & 3/6/2020

The tight lockdown remained in force for 51 days and was then gradually eased over the next three-and-a-half weeks.

New Zealanders breathed easy yesterday as the government announced it was ending all coronavirus restrictions after the last known patient recovered and the country was free of active cases. 9/6/2020' 16/5/2020: on this same day 2 new cases were confirmed, that had flown in from Britain but quarantined


New Zealand’s health minister resigned today amid a public backlash over his breach of lockdown restrictions and his criticism of the civil servant in charge of the country’s coronavirus response.

David Clark had faced widespread criticism after admitting in April that he had broken the country’s strict lockdown order by travelling 12 miles to the beach with his family. Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister, later admitted that his presence had become a distraction.

After his admission Mr Clark described himself as an idiot and was subsequently kept out of the public eye and Ashley Bloomfield, the health department director-general, appeared alongside Ms Ardern at the country’s daily briefings.

Mr Bloomfield garnered praise for the country’s success in handling the crisis: only 22 deaths have been recorded in a population of five million. Mr Clark later criticised Mr Bloomfield, however, for a series of mistakes linked to border quarantine, which drew further public anger.

Announcing his resignation, Mr Clark said that he had a warm relationship with Mr Bloomfield. “He is an exceptional public servant,” he said. “Thank you Ashley and your team for the extraordinary work you have done for our country during our most serious health crisis in a century.”

He added: “Now that we’re on a stable footing, it feels appropriate to let someone else take the reins.”

Ms Ardern said: “It’s essential our health leadership has the confidence of the New Zealand public. As David has said to me, the needs of the team must come before him as an individual.” - The Times, 3/7/2020


Officials in New Zealand have linked its first Covid-19 cases in more than three months to imported freight, as the country’s biggest city was plunged back into lockdown.

The discovery of four infected family members in Auckland led Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister, to reimpose tight restrictions in the city and social-distancing measures across the country.

The number of cases in Auckland has since risen after 13 new infections were detected today in the community, all linked to the family members. Another case has also been identified in an overseas arrival who is being held in quarantine. The total number of active cases in the country now stands at 36.

Ashley Bloomfield, director-general of health, said that one of the first infected individuals worked at a cold store owned by the US-based company Americold, where surface testing for the virus was under way.

“We are working hard to put together pieces of the puzzle on how this family got infected,” he said. “We know the virus can survive within refrigerated environments for quite some time.”- 13/8/2020


More Tales of lockdown