New Zealand has won international praise for its handling of the coronavirus crisis and, with cases firmly dropping, is looking at further easing of the rules. Find out when that might happen, how property prices are impacted and how to get to the front of the queue.
Country moves to ‘level three’ lockdown
New Zealand has been widely praised for its coronavirus strategy and has taken advantage of its small, spread-out population to pursue an ‘elimination’ strategy. It’s currently moved to ‘level three’ of its lockdown plan, which means that Kiwis are free to go to work or school if required, to go outside for exercise and visit beaches and parks within their reason.
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There is widespread expectation that the eventual move to level two will be announced this Monday. This would be public buildings like libraries would re-open, as could bars and restaurants for table service following social distancing. Gatherings of up to one hundred people would also be permitted in some circumstances and competitive sport will restart, albeit without stadium crowds.
Are house sales still going ahead?
Yes, you can still buy a house. In fact, moving house is explicitly one of the reasons given by the government that is allowed for long-distance domestic travel. Most agents are still working, many from home rather than their offices, as are lawyers. Virtual viewings have been widely adopted across the industry, so you can start to narrow down your shortlist from the comfort of your own home.
Stage two would likely make it easier to view homes without appointment, which will make the process even smoother.
Is international travel to New Zealand currently permitted?
If the country moves to level two, then it’s likely that domestic travel will be completely restored. However, international travel is still restricted. Plans are afoot to kickstart flights from overseas with a joint ‘bubble’ with Australia. Following that, once it’s proven that it doesn’t increase the number of infections, this bubble is likely to be expanded to other countries with similarly low infections.
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