Staff serve takeaway food at a cafe as New Zealand eases strict regulations implemented to curb the spread of the COVID-19 in Auckland, New Zealand, April 28, 2020.

WELLINGTON – New Zealand’s State of National Emergency has been lifted and a National Transition Period is now in place as the country prepares to move to COVID-19 Alert Level 2, Civil Defense Minister Peeni Henare announced on Wednesday.

The State of National Emergency was issued on March 25 as the country entered COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown, and the seven-day emergency state was extended six times.

“This move does not signal that New Zealanders should stop being vigilant in protecting themselves and others from the virus. It is essential we all follow the Alert Level requirements to ensure we do not lose the gains we have made,” Henare said in a statement.

“With fewer restrictions in place as we move to Alert Level 2 on Thursday, and the decrease in the numbers of COVID-19 cases, it is now the appropriate time to lift the State of National Emergency and move into a National Transition Period,” he said.

Putting a National Transition Period in place will support a nationally consistent and coordinated approach to civil defense emergency management activities, said the minister.

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