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New Zealand Aims For Sold Out Venues From This Week

New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has announced the country’s government will decide whether to lift all social distancing measures as early as next week.

The move would see the country’s alert system brought down to level one, meaning sports stadiums in New Zealand would be allowed to sell out.

Ardern said the government is working with sports venues to create a “COVID code” that will allow for contact tracing at large events.

“At level one, all current rules on businesses and services are essentially lifted,” Ardern said.

“Sports and concert stadiums can be sold out.

“For those larger events it is a matter of preparedness for us.

“We may be confident that we’re an environment where we do not have COVID in circulation.

“But if we have a situation where even one case emerges, and it’s found that they had been in attendance at a large event, we always have to be prepared to be able to contact trace successfully,” she said.

The shift to alert level one would pave the way for fans to attend the opening round of New Zealand’s Super Rugby Aotearoa tournament, which is due to start on June 13.

New Zealand Rugby chief executive, Mark Robinson, told Radio New Zealand the announcement was “breathing a huge amount of life into the game, and “there are a lot of things to be optimistic about for the second half of the year”.

The news comes after New Zealand managed to record no new cases of COVID-19 for the 14th consecutive day on Friday, with just one active case across the country.