May 13, 2020
Tangihanga edict crumbles under pressure
Restrictions on tangihanga could be eased.
The Level 2 guidance for tangihanga and funerals to include no more than 10 people at a time has upset many Māori, who contrast it with what the rules for bars and cafes.
Prime Minister Jacinda Arden told today’s media update she and the Director-General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, had been in calls with church leaders, funeral directors and iwi leaders about how some of those concerns could be met while still maintaining public safety.
She says internationally funerals and weddings had been identified as significant drivers for spreading the disease.
Health Minister David Clark is expected to make a further announcement later today.
For the second day in a row, there were no new cases of COVID-19 reported.
The milestone of 200,000 tests has been crossed, with just over 4 per cent of the population now tested.
Dr Bloomfield says there is great anticipation for the shift to Level 2 at midnight, but it’s important to maintain the personal behaviour that keeps COVID-19 from spreading.
This includes keeping a distance from people when in public, staying home when we are sick, restricting social gatherings to 10 people, and maintaining good hygiene, especially hand washing.
He says COVID-19 is a stubborn virus, and the country does not want spikes in infection.
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