Border restrictions and quarantine have kept COVID-19 out of New Zealand, but new modelling shows contact tracing and quick isolation would control an outbreak, without the need for another lockdown.
Our new modelling shows the risk of an infectious person slipping through New Zealand's border undetected is very low — likely to happen only once over the next 18 months.
Two new cases of COVID-19 have been announced in New Zealand, after 23 consecutive days with no new cases. But that doesn't mean that the country's elimination efforts have failed.
There's now a 95% chance COVID-19 has been eliminated in NZ, according to our modelling. But as NZ prepares to remove limits on large gatherings, it increases the risk of a very large new outbreak.
As the trade spat between China and the US continues, it is likely to spill over to other countries. For Australia and New Zealand, this could bring both risks and opportunities.
Tracing extinctions that happened centuries ago is difficult. But in New Zealand, the last place to be settled some 750 years ago, ancestral Māori oral traditions retain clues about lost species.