When you have a population of 4.886 million and a landmass of 268,021 km ², ofc it is so much easier to conduct contact tracing. The US has 328.2 million people with a landmass of over 9 million km ², you just simply can’t compare them. Auckland, our most populous city, holds 1/3 of our population, all in one city. Does America have anything like that? It’s by no means one of the densest cities in the world but it is very comparable to cities from around the world that handled COVID-19 far worse. When Auckland got this second outbreak, we locked them off from the rest of the country, even though our entire economy relies on that one city.
As a low population country, New Zealand has far fewer resources to handle this sort of outbreak. Our Ministry of Health couldn’t hold a candle to the comparatively immense organization that is the Centre for Disease Control. And yet, we managed. And now, the borders stay closed. Even when they reopen, you’ll likely need to pay for a two-week quarantine. Exports/Imports remain as normal. It only gets back in when someone makes a mistake or something is overlooked, and at that point, we’ll respond exactly as we did this second time, and kick the virus back out.