NZ’s current Covid-19 restrictions less stringent than most of world - Oxford data

New Zealand currently has some of the most relaxed Covid-19-related restrictions in the world, according to data collected by Oxford University.

Woman in isolation (file photo). Source:

The Oxford Coronavirus Government Response Tracker, a composite measure which tracks the stringency of governments’ responses using indicators like school and workplace closures, travel bans, and health and economic policies, finds New Zealand is less stringent than most OECD countries.

China, the US, the UK, Germany and Sweden were among the countries with stricter responses as of September 14. 

However, New Zealand had stricter measures than all of these countries in March and April, when the country went into Alert Level 4 lockdown.

The stringency of Covid-19 restrictions around the world as of September 14, 2020. Source: Our World in Data

New Zealand’s level of restrictions are similar to Russia, Japan and Scandanavian countries. 

Countries with fewer restrictions include Taiwan, Lithuania and Belarus.

New Zealand, other than Auckland, is expected to move to Alert Level 1 on Monday.

The move is contingent on no Covid-19 cases appearing outside of Auckland between now and then. 

Auckland currently remains at Alert Level 2.5, with the rest of the country at Alert Level 2.

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New Zealand, other than Auckland, to move to Alert Level 1 next Monday

The Oxford University evaluations, based on nine response indicators, re-scaled restrictions to a value between 0 and 100, with 100 being the strictest. If policies vary between regions within a country, the index shows the response level of the strictest region.

Further details about data collection and measurement is available in the Oxford project’s working paper.