New Zealand

Bishops celebrate easing of Covid restrictions in time for Easter

New Zealand’s Catholic Bishops are delighted that Covid restrictions are being eased.

The government on Wednesday announced a limit of 200 people for vaccine pass holders at a religious gathering such as mass, a statement from the bishops’ conference said.

“It is most welcome that these restrictions are being relaxed in the middle of Lent and just over three weeks from Easter,” the statement said.

Bishop Stephen Lowe says that while bishops supported vaccine passes and similar restrictions when they were introduced last November, their support was based on the pandemic emergency as it was at the time.

He warns that the easing of restrictions does not mean that it is “life as usual. We know the virus will continue to impact the way we celebrate in our churches for some time to come,” he says.

People who gather inside a church will always need to be cautious, and we should avoid certain ways of celebrating rituals that could facilitate the spread of infections, Lowe says.

Manage your own security

Responding to the easing of restrictions, epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker advises people to consider now that the Covid restrictions are starting to ease.

“If you don’t have any underlying conditions and aren’t particularly old, you can still get out there and enjoy life – just try to do it safely.”

This means wearing the right kind of mask in the right frame. He recommends wearing a breathing mask like the N95.

Older or immunocompromised people — even those who are vaccinated — have fewer choices, he says.

“The only thing you can do in this situation is to drastically reduce your contacts.”

It’s a point reinforced by the chairman of the government’s Covid-19 Public Health Strategic Advisory Group, Professor Sir David Skegg.

Skegg told the NZ Herald that for this and subsequent outbreaks people are urged to reflect on their own behavior and risk appetite.

In Australia, with Covid-19 cases soaring, Prime Minister Scott Morrison is spending big, tipping nearly A$2 billion to strike a deal with Moderna to produce 100 million mRNA bites as part of of a 10-year plan to protect the nation against the pandemic.

With 62,000 new infections on Wednesday, Australia’s Immunization Technical Advisory Group met to finalize approval of a fourth vaccine before winter.

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News category: New Zealand.



Bishops celebrate easing of Covid restrictions in time for Easter

Source link Bishops celebrate easing of Covid restrictions in time for Easter

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