New Zealanders Line Up At Midnight For Haircuts As Coronavirus Lockdowns Lifted

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As soon as coronavirus restrictions were lifted at 12:01 A.M. Thursday, New Zealanders desperate for a haircut formed lines outside of the newly reopened barber shops, Axios reported.  New Zealand had one of the most successful responses to the coronavirus pandemic in the world. They had 0.4 deaths per 100,000 people, compared to 25 deaths per 100,000 people in the United States, and issued around 1,000 more tests per 100,000 people than the U.S., according to Axios.

Customers queue up for a haircut at The French Barber on May 14, 2020 in Wellington, New Zealand. New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 in three stages starting from today with restaurants, cinemas, retail, playgrounds and gyms able to reopen with physical distancing and strict hygiene measures in place. Public gatherings are permitted for up to 10 people and New Zealanders are now able to travel domestically. Schools and early childhood centres will open from Monday 18 May while bars will be allowed to reopen from Thursday 21 May. New Zealand was placed under full lockdown on March 26 in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Customers queue up for a haircut at The French Barber on May 14, 2020 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

The country had some of the toughest coronavirus restrictions in the world and began a gradual reopening Thursday after nearly eliminating the virus. (RELATED: Ted Cruz Arrives For First Haircut In Months At Texas Salon After Owner Was Freed From Jail)

“Through our cumulative actions, we have avoided the worst,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at a press briefing on Monday. New Zealand’s success in containing the virus is “thanks to the sacrifices that every New Zealander has made,” she added. 

Barber Karl Hurcombe told Axios that it was “nerve-wracking” not knowing when he would be allowed to reopen his business, but had appreciated the extra time spent with his family. “Part of me was like I’ve got myself in a bit of a laid-back rut now!”