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New Zealand leaps out of coronavirus lockdown with bungee jumps, midnight haircuts


REUTERS/Ruth McDowall

After seven weeks trussed up with some of the world’s toughest coronavirus curbs, New Zealanders like Jim Boult leapt at the chance to cheer the end of the country’s lockdown on Thursday - literally in his case, with a bungee jump.


As the mayor of South Island adventure tourism resort Queenstown, Boult’s vault off Kawarau Bridge was as much a move for TV cameras to attract visitor attention as an act of sheer exuberance. But the sense of relief at the prospect of a return to some kind of normality was shared across the country. In Auckland, residents queued from midnight at barber shops and salons for their first chance of a professional hairdo in nearly two months, according to local media reports. In Wellington, families strolled along the waterfront, while others waited at stores set to reopen with safety measures in place. “It’s been an onslaught of people booking in so we’re flat out for the next two three weeks,” Ali Kamaruddin, a barbershop owner in northern coastal city Tauranga, told state broadcaster TVNZ. “We’re expecting everything, long hair, home haircuts, big stuff.”


While dramatically reducing the spread of the disease, some of the stricter social distancing restrictions worldwide delivered a big economic hit to New Zealand’s $200 billion economy, which is dependent on trade and tourism. 14 May 2020

News Source Reuters

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