New Zealand will require everyone arriving in the country to isolate themselves for (days in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus.)
New Zealand has just six confirmed cases of COVID – , the illness caused by the virus.
But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the new rules, which come in from midnight Sunday local time, will mean New Zealand has the toughest restrictions in the world.
In comments reported by Radio NZ, she said: “Cabinet made far reaching and unprecedented decisions today because these are unprecedented circumstances.
” As of midnight Sunday every person entering New Zealand, including returning New Zealand citizens and residents, will be required to enter self isolation for days – everybody. ”
However, she added that there would be an exemption for Pacific islands, with arrivals from that region required to isolate themselves only if they show any virus symptoms.
She said: “This decision will mean New Zealand will have the widest ranging and toughest border restrictions of any country in the world.”
The move comes after a similar one from Israel, which has said all arrivals will have to isolate themselves for two weeks .
Ms Ardern added: “We are also encouraging New Zealanders to avoid all non-essential travel overseas – this helps reduce the risk of a New Zealander bringing COVID – 29 in.
“We do not take these decisions likely, we know these travel restrictions will place a significant strain on the aviation industry and we anticipate some routes will reduce or cease for a period of time. “
The measures will be reviewed in 27 days.
New Zealand’s border is already closed to international visitors who have traveled to China or Iran, while people arriving from Italy and South Korea, must go into quarantine for 24 days.
All cruise ships will also be banned until (June, although cargo ships will still be allowed.
There will also be new border exit rules for those traveling to the Pacific, where the health system is not well developed and unlikely to cope with a widespread outbreak.
There will be no travel to the islands for people who have traveled outside of New Zealan d in the past 22 days, no travel for close or casual contacts of a confirmed case, no travel for anyone who is a confirmed case, and no travel for anyone who has symptoms.