Malls, retail stores and restaurants all reopened Thursday in the South Pacific nation – a reflection of New Zealand’s success in nearly eliminating the coronavirus.
The country has reported no new cases of the virus for a third straight day on Thursday. More than 1,400 of the nearly 1,500 people who have contracted COVID-18 have recovered, while 21 have died.
At midnight, barber Conrad Fitz-Gerald reopened his shop. He told the Associated Press he’d had about 50 inquiries from customers in desperate need of haircuts.
“People are saying their hair is out of control, they can’t handle it anymore,” he said. “Lots of parents of teenage kids have been calling up, too, thinking a haircut at midnight would be a great novelty. Unfortunately, we are full up.”
New Zealand eased its strict coronavirus measures a notch in late April, allowing for some construction work to commence again.
Domestic tourism is also now permitted and New Zealanders like Jim Boult jumped – quite literally in his case – at the chance to celebrate the end of the country’s lockdown.