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New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attends the launch of the Labour Party's election campaign in Auckland on Saturday. Photo: Michael Bradley/AFP via Getty Images

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — New Zealand has now gone 100 days with no detected community spread of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health confirmed in an emailed statement Sunday.

Why It Matters: New Zealanders are going to the polls on Sept. 19. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been widely praised for her leadership that saw NZ lock down hard for several weeks before all domestic restrictions were lifted in June. She sees her government's response to and recovery from the coronavirus outbreak as key to her Labour Party being re-elected.

"When people ask, is this a Covid election, my answer is yes, it is."
— Ardern's news briefing remarks
  • Ardern announced at a briefing Saturday that Labour's re-election campaign that is heavily focused on continuing with the economic recovery, pledging NZ$311 million ($205.32m) for a "Flexi-wage" subsidy scheme to help businesses give jobs to some 40,000 Kiwis.

The big picture: Labour is well ahead in the polls of its nearest rival, the National Party, led by Judith Collins. But conservative Collins told RNZ Saturday she's still confident of winning under her party's platform "Strong team, More Jobs, Better Economy."

  • Collins is the third leader to be appointed by the National Party this year.

By the numbers: New Zealand has 23 active coronavirus cases. All are NZ residents newly returned from abroad, who are staying in managed isolation facilities.

Of note: The border remains closed to non-residents and all newly returned Kiwis must undergo a two-week isolation program managed by the country's defense force. All travelers tested three times before they leave.

By the numbers: "Of the 36,000 people who have stayed in managed isolation facilities since they were opened, eight are before the court in relation to absconding," a New Zealand Police spokesperson told Axios.

Flashback: New Zealand beats coronavirus

Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from police.

Go deeper

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Louisiana officials find "probable" Omicron case in cruise ship COVID outbreak — CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise" — Two years of COVID-19.
  2. Vaccines: Data demonstrates most-vaccinated counties less vulnerable to worst of COVID — Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters.
  3. Politics: NYC to impose vaccine mandate on private employers — Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy.
  4. World: U.S. announces $400M for global COVID vaccine distribution — Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles downWHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Chuck Grassley says he tested positive for COVID-19

Sen. Chuck Grassley. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Stringer

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has tested positive for the coronavirus, adding Wednesday that he remains "symptom free."

Why it matters: Grassley is the second oldest member of the Senate at 87 years old, meaning he is at high risk for a severe infection, according to the CDC. The Iowa senator is the third in the line of succession to the presidency as president pro tempore of the Senate.

Nov 17, 2020 - World

U.K. Labour Party readmits Corbyn after suspension over anti-Semitism comments

Jeremy Corbyn. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The U.K. Labour Party has reinstated its former leader, Jeremy Corbyn, after he was suspended late last month over his response to a watchdog report that found the party failed to properly take action against allegations of anti-Semitism during his time in charge, per BBC.

Driving the news: After the country's Equality and Human Rights Commission released its report, Corbyn said in a statement, "[T]he scale of the problem was ... dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media."