“New Zealand as a loyal ally of the deep state, put in travel restrictions almost before COVID-19 was officially known about, but any delay in the spread of a virus, (the initial UK spin was to flatten the curve) ends once the restrictions are lifted, even if they work anyway.”
New Zealand is a classic case of how to successfully deal with a pandemic: act decisively and early. Here is a good account of what happened. You say that they acted before Covid-19 was officially known but that is not true. It was well known that there was a dangerous new virus in Wuhan in January and the WHO declared a Pandemic, a bit late I would say in mid March. Closing the borders and isolation of travelers proved to be very effective and can be done at the outset of the pandemic but is less successful later. Here is what I wrote back on the 12th March 2020 when it became clear that the Pandemic was inevitably going to go full swing and the government chose to procrastinate.
The problem is that Johnson and other neoliberal right wing dominated countries, chose to ‘flatten the curve’ rather than adopt a more radical approach. By May, over 18 million travelers, including from areas with high SARS cov2 transmission entered the country without any attempt at isolation or reducing the number of travelers. Even when it was clear that countries like Italy and Spain, with high rates of transmission, were affected, there were no travel restrictions until the damage was done.