More than a week into New Zealand's lockdown, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has quietly introduced a 'bonk ban' designed to stamp out COVID-19. Under the bonk ban, partners in New Zealand who don't live together are banned from visiting each other during the coronavirus lockdown.
New Zealand authorities issued new lockdown guidance that separates families and lovers who don't live together.
Previously, self-isolation principles under the lockdown in New Zealand were vague. Before the lockdown, Ms Ardern asked Kiwis to 'apply common sense' and shrink down their social group to a small group of individuals who are part of your bubble for a month. This was understood largely to mean households, however, the non-specific language allowed families and partners who didn't live together to see each other.
However, a Health Act Order replaced the unspecific order with explicit language - and leaves no room for misinterpretation.
It allows for no fraternising across households with very limited exemptions; for shared custody of children, and when at least one of the partners lives alone. The end result is the criminalisation of most relationships between Kiwis who don't live together.
The announcement of 89 fresh cases on Sunday means more than a thousand Kiwis have caught the virus during the pandemic. As the number of cases in New Zealand reached an unfortunate milestone, the government has justified the decision as necessary to fight the highly infectious Covid-19
'Going hard and going early appears to be paying off for us,' she said.
New Zealand’s tough lockdown goes further than stopping partners from seeing each other, it has closed all non-essential businesses - including all restaurants and educational facilities - and provided Kiwis with very few reasons to leave their own homes.
While the majority of the public have been compliant with New Zealand’s lockdown measures, there were still isolated incidents where people were breaking the rules.
Since then, a new health notice has been issued which goes into detail as to what the lockdown expectations are, leaving no doubt about what Kiwis can and cannot do in lockdown - as top officials are today expected to announce that New Zealand has surpassed 1000 confirmed and probable cases of Covid-19.
Kiwis had previously been advised not to take part in these activities during the Covid-19 lockdown but the ban was made official in fresh laws released on the Government's Covid-19 website.
The new Health Notice sets out:
- - Everyone in New Zealand is to be isolated or quarantined at their current place of residence except as permitted for essential personal movement;
- - Exercise is to be done in an outdoor place that can be readily accessed from home and two-metre physical distancing must be maintained;
- - Recreation and exercise does not involve swimming, water-based activities (for example, surfing or boating), hunting, tramping, or other activities of a kind that expose participants to danger or may require search and rescue services;
- - A child can leave the residence of one joint caregiver to visit or stay at the residence of another joint caregiver (and visit or stay at that residence) if there is a shared bubble arrangement;
- - A person can leave their residence to visit or stay at another residence (and visit or stay at that residence) under a shared bubble arrangement if:
- a. One person lives alone in one, or both, of those residences; or
- b. Everyone in one of those residences is a vulnerable person.