New Zealand to suspend arrivals from India

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As India’s rising COVID cases continue to be a cause for concern, New Zealand has announced that it will temporarily suspend entry of travellers from India, including citizens. The ban is expected to last from 11 April to 28 April.

This week alone, India’s daily increase crossed the 100,000 mark on two separate occasions and it continues to be the worst-affected nation after the United States.

“As we know, New Zealand is not immune to the virus, especially with an active pandemic raging outside our borders,” said NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. “It is to the border we again look to manage this global spike.”

At a press conference in Auckland earlier today, she confirmed that 17 of the 23 new cases reported at the border came from arrivals from India.

“I want to emphasize that while arrivals of COVID from India has prompted this measure, we are looking at how we manage high risk points of departure generally. This is not a country specific risk assessment,” she said.

The announcement marks New Zealand’s first suspension of travel for returning citizens and residents. Ardern has stressed that it is not a permanent arrangement.

As of 7 April, Australia has recorded 0 locally acquired cases and 14 overseas acquired cases in hotel quarantine. As the country continues to get a hold of the virus and the vaccine rollout, Ardern’s recent announcement has led to increased concerns that Australia might follow a similar approach.

READ ALSO: What’s the new coronavirus variant in India and how should it change their COVID response?

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