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New Zealand city emerges from weeklong lockdown

New Zealand's biggest city Auckland reopened on Sunday after a weeklong lockdown caused by a cluster of the more-contagious UK variant of COVID-19.

Health officials said the country recorded zero cases for a full week.

People were able to leave their homes Sunday morning and fetch a coffee. Many felt relieved.

"It's lovely to be out and about again, it's hard being confined for long periods of time. We've done it before but it's refreshing to be out and about."

The city of two million people will continue to face restrictions, like crowd gathering limits and masks on public transportation, but those may be eased at the end of this week.

Its neighbor Australia has also been successful in keeping infections down, with zero cases reported in more than a month.

New Zealand and Australia have deployed aggressive tactics, like contact tracing, border closures and foreign traveler quarantines.

Their economies have made fast improvements, while both countries have started rolling out vaccines.

Australia administered its first dose of the Oxford/AztraZeneca vaccine on Sunday, now an option alongside the vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech.