New Zealand Prime Minister on Thursday announced a temporary ban on travelers from India, including its own citizens, starting from April 11 due to a sudden increase in COVID-19 cases in the country.
“We are temporarily suspending entry into New Zealand for travelers from India,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was quoted saying in a press conference in Auckland.
This suspension comes after New Zealand reported 20 new positive cases at its border on Thursday. Out of the 23 new coronavirus cases, 17 were 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…,” Jacinda Ardern said.
New Zealand has virtually eliminated COVID-19 transmission within its border areas and has not reported any case of community transmission for the last 40 days. However, 7 new cases have been reported on Wednesday, highest since last October.
The country has been reviewing its border settings as the rolling average of positive cases has been rising steadily. Moreover, a worker employed at a coronavirus isolation facility tested positive for the virus on Thursday. He was yet to be vaccinated.
The suspension of entry for all travelers from India begins at 4 pm local time on April 11 and will stay place till April 28.
This order comes at a time when India has been continuously reporting more than one lakh cases everyday for the past few days, taking its total caseload to 12.9 million.