Published on : Wednesday, March 11, 2020
In light of the novel coronavirus outbreak, New Zealand has extended its travel restrictions towards all travellers arriving from Italy. Outside China, Italy has reported the maximum number of coronavirus cases so far. According to the latest plan, visitors entering the country from any part of Italy will have to self-isolate themselves for two weeks. Though New Zealand has not closed its borders completely, people coming from other coronavirus hotspots will also have to keep themselves isolated or quarantined for 14 consecutive days.
Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister, New Zealand said in a press statement that a decision has been to not impose a full ban or complete restriction on travellers coming from Italy. She informed that the option of isolation provided more flexibility in the restrictions and was working well in New Zealand. She said that the isolation rule gives the country an opportunity to put in flexibility in separate states and regions whereas entire border restrictions fail to provide that flexibility.
She also informed that the same plan of action has effectively dissipated travel from South Korea. The effect can be considered similar to that of an entire border restriction. She also expects that people who were considering travel to New Zealand for vacations would reconsider their plans as they will have to stay confined at one place for 14 days upon entry to the country.
The decision has been made after consultation with health and science advisers. The same rule will also be applicable to Australian citizens and permanent residents arriving from Italy. Australia has banned the entry of foreigners coming from China, Iran and South Korea. However, at present, New Zealand only bans foreign visitors arriving from China and Iran.