As New Zealand announced the lifting of restrictions marking a gradual return to life to normalcy, Prime Minister Jacinda Arden on May 20 reportedly raised the prospect of citizens enjoying extra public holidays and a shorter working week. In a bid to kickstart the country’s post-lockdown economy Arden said that she wanted to ‘encourage nimble’ and creative ideas for recovery. After a seven-week lockdown, New Zealand was able to ‘eliminate’ the deadly coronavirus, however, the social distancing measures stalled the economy.
From moving to a four-day week to creating public holidays, Arden came up with various suggestions to boost the economy of the country. While speaking to international media reporters, Arden said that this is an ‘extraordinary time’ and the citizens should be willing to consider extraordinary ideas. Although, she further also added that she hasn’t ruled out any in or out as of yet.
Arden reportedly said that there is a range of options and the country should be open-minded. The New Zealand PM also spoke to the tourism industry after which she said that working from home during lockdown had shown how productive employees could be given extra facility. Arden believes that a four-day week could work the same way if employees were willing to try.
Moreover, the PM also believes that the extra holidays will help boost spending in the tourism and hospitality sector which have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 lockdown. She reportedly said that if something like four-day a week work for the companies, then it certainly would help tourism all around the country.
Meanwhile, earlier this week, Arden had declared that the country would now move from level three to level two implying that more services would be open. With nearly 1,500 cases of coronavirus and 21 fatalities, New Zealand also became one of the first countries outside China on April 27 to claim that it has ‘eliminated’ the COVID-19 disease. Arden had also said that she resorted to staggering reaping of the country to avoid the fresh wave of cases.