New Zealand imposed a temporary suspension on entry of travelers from India due to the recent surge in COVID-19 infections from April 11, government officials announced on Thursday.
Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern made the announcement during a briefing in Auckland, noting that the suspension will be in force from 4 pm on April 11 till April 28.
Ardern added that the travel ban will apply to all citizens and residents of New Zealand, affirming that the suspension is temporary as the government is obligated “to allow citizens to return to New Zealand.”
Reportedly, the government took the decision after a border worker tested positive for the virus.
News outlet RNZ quoted the country’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.
The Prime Minister stated she understands the difficulty this temporary suspension will cause, affirming that she feels “a sense of responsibility and obligation to find ways to reduce risk that travellers are experiencing.”
Furthermore, she asserted that the suspension will give authorities time to figure out issues with pre-departure tests, adding that New Zealand is not considering a travel ban on other countries.