The world has been left in awe of New Zealand's successful efforts in eliminating Covid-19 - and Jacinda Ardern's celebratory "little dance" has led global headlines.

Kiwis are no longer required to social distance themselves after 17 days of no cases and the first day with no active cases.

Gathering sizes will have no limit and hospitality venues will be back to normal.

While we are celebrating Down Under, the world has looked on in amazement at our achievements, heaping praise on Kiwis and our Government.

Advertisement

Overseas media have been quick to praise our "team of 5 million" - and Ardern's revelation that she "did a little dance" was widely reported.

CNN quoted Ardern as later saying: "It was very exciting information to hear, so I confess that when I heard that information I did do a - I don't even know if I could describe it as a dance - some semi-co-ordinated movement around the lounge."

The New York Times said: "Ardern has been praised internationally for her approach to New Zealand's outbreak, which was among the most stringent in the world. Her live video updates on Facebook, streamed from her own home, offered a relatable understanding of the impact of the coronavirus lockdown on the lives of New Zealanders, but a firm resolve to eradicate the disease from the country.

"Her approach focused on framing the effort of the nation as one of cooperation, often referring to her fellow New Zealanders as a 'team of five million' tasked with keeping each other healthy."

Here is what others reported:

Bloomberg: 'New Zealand ends social distancing after eliminating Covid'

Bloomberg showcased New Zealand's strategy of wanting to eliminate rather than reduce the spread of Covid. However, it did say the flipside to our response was economic recession.

"Rather than seeking to merely suppress transmission of the virus, New Zealand pursued an explicit elimination strategy. It enforced one of the strictest lockdowns in the world, asking everyone to stay at home and allowing only essential services to operate.

Advertisement

"While this has almost certainly triggered a deep recession, the Government hopes being virus-free will allow the economy to recover more rapidly than many of its peers."

Daily Mail: 'New Zealand eradicates coronavirus Covid-19'

"New Zealand's crushing of the virus has shifted debate firmly towards the nature of the restrictions, including social distancing, gathering size caps, and limits on the operations of some businesses, particularly in tourism and hospitality."

Praise for PM Jacinda Ardern's
Praise for PM Jacinda Ardern's "strict but successful strategy". Photo / File

Guardian: 'New Zealand 'Covid-19 free' as UK travel quarantine rules begin'

The Guardian compared New Zealand to the UK response, highlighting how far behind the powerhouse is in the fight against Covid, while praising Jacinda Ardern's strict but successful strategy.

"Ardern has drawn global headlines and praise from the World Health Organisation for her Government's approach to the virus, with a strict and cautious approach that appears to have paid off.

Advertisement

"On 25 March she locked down the country for four weeks – requiring that most New Zealanders remained at home most of the time – before gradually easing restrictions."

New Zealand will move to alert level 1 - and a return to mostly normal lives - from midnight tonight. The announcement comes just two hours after health officials confirmed that the country now has no active Covid-19 cases.

Hindustan Times: 'How New Zealand eliminated Covid-19'

One of India's biggest newspapers labelled the success "stunning" while delving into how New Zealand is just one of eight countries to eliminate the virus.

"The stunning announcement came on Monday when the country's health officials said that it has no active cases of Covid-19. The Pacific island nation is among only a handful of countries that have emerged from the pandemic, which first gripped the United States and has now turned Latin America into a hotspot.

"Experts say that its isolated location in the South Pacific also gave New Zealand vital time to see how outbreaks spread in other countries. Just over 1500 people contracted the virus in New Zealand, including 22 who died."

BBC: 'New Zealand lifts all Covid restrictions, declaring the nation virus-free'

Advertisement

The BBC said New Zealand had recorded 1504 confirmed cases and 22 deaths from Covid-19 since the virus arrived in late February, "but has been widely praised for its handling of the crisis".

"For many, the latest announcement is a cause for celebration - but not without caution. Auckland-based lorry driver Patrick Weston told the BBC: "Everyone is so happy we're finally through this, but we're still nervous.

"I think the main thing people are worried about is the economy - so many people out of work, so many people looking for work at the same time."

The Mirror: 'New Zealand totally free of coronavirus and back to normal after last patient recovers'

The UK tabloid credited New Zealand's "team of five million" and highlighted our elimination strategy.

"The country of five million people has pursued an elimination strategy to beat coronavirus, rather than just aiming to contain the disease."

Advertisement

British journalist and former political aide Alastair Campbell tweeted: "Meanwhile, in a well-run country where just 22 have died, normality resumes, because of swift, bold, decisive action by a proper, capable, empathetic, serious, non-lying Prime Minister," while comparing New Zealand's pandemic response with the UK's.

Former New Zealand PM Helen Clark said "Clear leadership and an engaged public have produced this result".

The praise comes just weeks after UK TV personality Piers Morgan revealed he wishes the UK had a leader like her.

Posting to Twitter, Morgan shared a video captioned a "brutal three-minute summary of New Zealand's Covid success versus the UK's failure", which has received more than five million views.

"This is incredibly damning. I wish we had a leader like Jacinda Ardern," Morgan declared online.