WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand’s government has acknowledged what most other countries did long ago: It can no longer completely get rid of the coronavirus. Since early in the pandemic, New Zealand had pursued an unusual zero-tolerance approach to the virus through strict lockdowns and aggressive contact tracing. That worked until recently but changed in August when an outbreak of the more contagious delta variant took hold. That outbreak is still simmering, but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the cautious plan to ease lockdown restrictions starting Tuesday. She said the elimination strategy was important while the country had no vaccines. And she said it would continue to be vigilant over outbreaks.
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