KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 — More than 1,000 people protested in Auckland against social distancing restrictions after a fresh coronavirus outbreak hit the New Zealand city last month.
Stuff reported former National Party MP and now Advance NZ leader Jami-Lee Ross, who joined the rally, as saying that the lockdown was wrong, and needed to stop.
“We want our rights and freedom back. The government has decided in the name of old science, we have to stop our daily lives,” Ross was quoted saying.
Many of the attendees of the protest were not wearing face masks and were holding signs against the Covid-19 lockdown, vaccines, the New Zealand government, and several other issues.
Inspector Grant Tetzlaff from Auckland City Police, who attended the protest to monitor the situation, reportedly said that the police recognised people’s lawful right to protest but also recognised the need for people to follow the current level two restrictions in helping to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
“Police will continue to take an educative approach with attendees and organisers when necessary,” the inspector said.
Auckland has been put under alert level 2.5 — which bans social gatherings of more than 10 people — and those who fail to comply with orders under the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 may be given a maximum penalty of six months’ imprisonment or a NZ$4,000 fine.
CNBC reported two new Covid-19 cases in New Zealand last Saturday, with the total number of confirmed infections rising to 1,444. The coronavirus outbreak has claimed 24 lives in New Zealand.