Midnight queues greeted barbershops alongside other business ventures in New Zealand after the Oceanian country lifted its COVID-19 lockdown on Wednesday.
The lockdown relaxation comes after the country successfully flattened the curve of infection, reporting no new cases of the novel coronavirus in the past three days, according to BBC.
The authorities of New Zealand had introduced a four-level alert system on March 21, to manage the outbreak within the country.
But at 11:59 pm on May 13, it was moved to level 2, with the rest of the lockdown restrictions lifted while the nation’s 5 million citizens were advised to observe physical distancing.
Surprisingly, in the early hours of Thursday morning, long queues were reported in front of barbershops within certain locations in the country as shoppers and salons resumed activities.
Pictures of residents queuing outside hairdressers, shops and restaurants circulated on social media platforms few minutes after the nation dropped most of its lockdown measures.
This cafe and barbers in Birkenhead, Auckland, opened at 1 minute past midnight Thursday, after New Zealand’s lockdown moved to level 2. I took this at 1.30am. Had a tasty treat from Dutch Delight, where I met 2 women dining out while wearing pyjamas. Love it! #nzlockdown pic.twitter.com/EymLnj6DoxAdvertisement
— Rebecca Falconer (@BecFalconer) May 13, 2020
Other businesses except bars were also allowed to open with some social distancing and PPE measures in place while gatherings were restricted to groups of about 10 people.
The lockdown relaxation comes after Jacinda Arden, prime minister of New Zealand, announced that the country had won the battle against community transmission of COVID-19.
“There is no widespread undetected community transmission in New Zealand. We have won that battle. But we must remain vigilant if we are to keep it that way,” Arden had said.
The development also comes days after long queues were seen at liquor stores across states in India after the Asian country was forced to ease its COVID-19 lockdown due to economic considerations.
As of May 14, New Zealand has reported 1,497 confirmed cases, 21 deaths, and 1,411 recoveries.
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