New Zealand has suspended the entry of travellers from India in light of the recent surge in Covid-19 infections. The temporary suspension will be enforced from April 11 onwards, said government officials.
Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand made the announcement during a briefing in Auckland earlier today.
The suspension will be in force from 4 pm on April 11 till April 28, PM Jacinda Ardern said.
The travel ban will apply to all citizens and residents of New Zealand.
Asked about the ban on travellers from India, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the suspension is temporary because her government is obligated "to allow citizens to return to New Zealand.
Reports suggest that the government of New Zealand took the decision after a border worker tested positive for Covid-19. News outlet RNZ quoted New Zealand's Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield to say that 17 of 23 new confirmed Covid-19 patients in the country had arrived from India.
While she did not rule out the extension of this travel ban, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she understands the difficulty this temporary suspension will cause.
"I feel a sense of responsibility and obligation to find ways to reduce risk that travellers are experiencing," Jacinda Ardern said. She went on to add that the suspension will give authorities time to figure out issues with pre-departure tests.
The government of New Zealand is not considering a travel ban on other countries, said PM Jacinda Ardern. Earlier this week, New Zealand put in place a quarantine-free travel bubble with Australia effective from April 19.
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