As New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden announced that the country was ready to start gradually reopening from May 14, the mayor of a city went bungee jumping to celebrate the announcement. New Zealanders are now reportedly permitted to visit retail stores, malls, cafes and other public spaces and to celebrate the reopening the mayor of Queenstown Lakes District Jim Boult took a plunge above the Kawarau River.
According to an international media outlet, Boult was the first at the Bungy Centre since the seven-week lockdown. With the jump, he signalled the reaping of the town’s tourism industry as well. The Queenstown Lakes District Council also took to Facebook to share the video of the mayor leaping into ‘Alert Level 2’.
According to the caption, Boult said, "I’m delighted to be able to mark the reopening of this facility, even if it means jumping off a bridge first thing in the morning. It’s wonderful to see so many businesses in our area opening back up. Though these are tough times for all businesses across the district, we’re embracing Alert Level 2 and the cautious reopening that it is allowing”.
Boult also promoted the domestic tourism and said that Queenstown is still country’s premier visitor destination, with a recent poll showing the city as the number one tourist destination for New Zealanders, closely followed by Wānaka at number five. He also added that the enthusiasm for local travel will bring a much-needed boost to the local economy. Boult added that thousands of locals will benefit from the return to work. Furthermore, he also looks forward to welcoming visitors to the district from across the country.
While the authorities have eased some restrictions, schools in New Zealand begin only from next week. According to reports, travel between different regions of New Zealand will begin from May 18 onwards and bars are scheduled to open from May 21 onwards. Meanwhile, people have still been told to take precautions. Social gatherings such as weddings and various religious ceremonies are still limited to only 10 people.