New Zealand Declares Victory in Coronavirus Battle; Most Restrictions Lifted

Aggressive and early action against the oncoming global coronavirus pandemic, along with a unique geography as an island nation, has led to New Zealand declaring itself corona-free on Monday. National health officials says that the last known infected person has recovered in the nation of 5 million.

The result is that nationally, in essence all restrictions, except for border controls, are lifted and life has resumed to normal, at least domestically in New Zealand.

That includes swimming, meaning teams can begin gathering again in full and without restrictions. This also means that domestic competition can begin soon, as there is no restrictions on gatherings.

With that, New Zealand has made its first announcement of an upcoming national competition when it will host the 2020 New Zealand Secondary School Championships from August 20-23 in Hamilton. The next domestic regional meets on the Swimming New Zealand calendar are scheduled for Saturday June 27, with meets continuing regularly after that.

New Zealand National Calendar – 2020

  • 2020 Secondary School Championships – August 20-23, Hamilton
  • 2020 New Zealand Short Course Championship – October 6-10, Auckland

The country had just over 1,500 total confirmed cases of coronavirus, including 22 deaths. That comes out to a rate of 1 case for about every 3,300 citizens. By comparison, the U.S. has seen about 1 case for every 165 citizens.

The country sent 10 swimmers to last summer’s World Aquatics Championships, where their lone finalist was Lewis Clareburt, who won a bronze medal in the 400 IM. Their other semifinalist was Ali Galyer, who declared her sporting citizenship for New Zealand in 2018 after growing up in the United States. She finished 12th in the women’s 200 back.

The country’s swimming program has been on an upward climb in recent years, including Helena Gasson breaking 7 New Zealand Open Short Course Records in 2019, and Erika Fairweather, who broke a 43-year old age group record in the 400 free last season.

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3 years ago

In Australia we are doing great, zero recorded cases in some out our Federal States, and with a population 5 times that of New Zealand and more testing pro capita. But it’s too early to stop restrictions completely and none of these States have said they have won.
It is the second time NZ declares they have won the battle, the first time was a few weeks ago, and guess what, they started to have new cases. This is not over. They – as Australia – have avoided a major disaster, collapse of the medical system, and widespread deaths, but it’s absurd to only praise and glorify NZ. Australia has done a great job with a less strict lockdown… Read more »

Kiwi Swim Chick
3 years ago

Except all Masters meets have been cancelled for the rest of the year ☹☹

3 years ago

See what can happen with good competent leadership. Helps to be an island too.

Reply to  Swammer
3 years ago

It helped having a leader that put the people ahead of the economy. A leader that cares about the people she was chosen to lead.

Reply to  Robbos
3 years ago

I’m anti-trump, I was pro shutdown, I’m pro-caution on reopening (somewhere between the “keep it all shut down” and “open it all up” crowd), and am slightly left of center politically.

But, I’m not sure that characterizing it as “people ahead of the economy” is a fair phrasing. Even Obama has said that the economy matters. The economy is people.

NZ reacted quickly. That was huge. NZ is also an island with a relatively-small population, easy-to-close borders, and can close those borders without doing the same destructive damage to its economy.

3 years ago

I’m not surprised. I was in New Zealand when things broke open in February. I spent a week in Australia in early March and upon the return to NZ they already had stations for masks, sanitizer and taking temperatures set up at the airport. They were screening people and telling us we needed to quarantine for 14 days. This was March 8. When I returned to the states on March 24th there was nothing at the airport, nothing anywhere. No one asking where I was coming from, whether I might have been exposed, what to do when I returned, etc. So they have earned their “clean” bill of health. I hope that are able to keep it!

Coach K
Reply to  Oldmanswimmer
3 years ago

I was there in March and had a very similar experience. NZ was very on top of this outbreak and I felt that the population supported the leadership, which I think was the most important thing.

Reply to  Coach K
3 years ago

The leadership there is worth supporting!I live in South Australia, and a number of Australia states have had zero cases, including no one in hospital, for a while.

Lane 8
3 years ago

That must feel good for them!

3 years ago

This announcement seems a little premature. Like declaring you won the super bowl 2 minutes into the first quarter.

Big Kicker
Reply to  Lpman
3 years ago

They now have zero recorded cases of the coronavirus

Sounds more like they just finished the fourth quarter

Reply to  Big Kicker
3 years ago

Zero “recorded”

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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