WELLLNGTON, 08 JUNE 2020 (RNZ PACIFIC) — There are no active cases and no new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.

The ministry says they were notified by Auckland Regional Public Health that its remaining case has been symptom free for 48 hours and is regarded as recovered.

The person has now been released from isolation, they said.

Their case had been linked to the St Margaret’s Hospital and Rest Home cluster in Auckland.

“This is really good news for the person concerned, and it’s also something the rest of New Zealand can take heart from,” Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said in a statement.

Dr Bloomfield said it’s the first time since 28 February that there have been no active cases.

There are also no new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand for the 17th day in a row and no futher deaths.

The last reported new case of Covid-19 in this country was on 22 May.

The ministry said the total number of confirmed cases remains at 1,154. The combined total of confirmed and probable cases remains at 1,504.

The number of recovered cases is now 1,482.

There is no-one in hospital receiving care for Covid-19.

The ministry said 800 tests were completed Sunday, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 294,848.

Meanwhile, after praising New Zealand’s response to the virus, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed the country would be moving to alert level 1 from midnight tonight.

“At level 1 we expect the continuation of recovery.”

She said the country was ready, now 40 days since the last recorded case of community transmission, 26 days after entering alert level 2, 17 days since a new case, and less than 24 hours since having zero active cases recorded.

Ardern said New Zealanders did something “remarkable” by uniting in the fight against Covid-19, and had achieved one of the lowest rates per capita in the world.

“Now under level 1 you can if you want go back to your place of work.”

Ardern revealed last week that under level 1 there would be effectively no restrictions on day to day life and business, but New Zealand’s borders would remain closed.

Today she again highlighted that the measures at the border were critical to allowing the move to the looser restrictions.

“They will continue to be critical and that means applying a really critical analysis if and when we come to a position we believe another country is in a similar position to us and therefore we can safely travel between.”

Starting this week, everyone arriving in New Zealand will be tested twice during their 14 day isolation period.

The economic impact of restrictions over the last months had also been less than expected, and economic recovery was believed to be quicker than expected, Ardern said.

“We are not immune to what is happening in the rest of the world, but unlike the rest of the world not only have protected New Zealanders’ health, we now have a head-start on our economic recovery.”

She warned however that there was still a risk of further infection of Covid-19, and that it would continue to be seen overseas.

She asked all New Zealanders to keep a record of where they had been during level 1, either by using the tracing app or keeping their own record.

“If we get one or two cases in the future – which will remain possible for some time to come due to the global situation and nature of the virus – we need to shut down those cases fast. The last thing … we want to do is move up the alert level system again.”

Ardern said businesses and organisations would continue to be encouraged to display QR codes so New Zealanders using the tracing app could use it to keep a record for themselves of where they had been and when, but manual sign-in would be no longer required.

She said the QR codes would remain voluntary for now, but the government was also looking into how it could supply them to businesses rather than having to wait for them to apply.

She said the government was keen to take advantage of flexible working but maintain strong and vibrant central business districts, so had asked the State Services Commission to release new guidance about how best to do that.

“While the job is not done, there is no denying this is a milestone, so let me finish with just a simple thank you, New Zealand,” she said…PACNEWS