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Jacinda Ardern announces Covid-19 update

LIVE: Jacinda Ardern speaking at press conference following the meeting of the Covid-19 cabinet commitee in Auckland.

As of midnight tomorrow every person arriving in New Zealand apart from those coming from the Pacific islands will have to self- isolate, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.

Until now, foreign travellers arriving from mainland China and Iran are banned from entering the country. Travellers from South Korea and Italy are asked to self-isolate for two weeks on arrival.

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The prime minister said today it is not realistic for New Zealand to only have a handful of Covid-19 cases.

However, "New Zealand has today relative to other countries a small number of cases," says Jacinda.

As of midnight Sunday every person arriving will have to isolate themselves for 14 days, Ardern says. That will mean New Zealand will have the strongest restrictions in the world, she said.

She said the measures - in effect as of midnight Sunday - will be reviewed in 16 days and there will be more measures and advice for self isolation next week.

All cruise ships are also being asked to not come to New Zealand until June 30. It does not apply for cargo ships.

Advice will be released shortly on large events where people will be in close proximity to each other, events where people have travelled from overseas and non-ticketed events.

We have two choices as a nation, says Jacinda. One is to let Covid-19 roll on, the other is to go hard on measures to stamp it out. It is in our power to slow it down, she said.

New Zealanders' public health comes first and this consitutes an unprecedented time.

"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 14 days - everybody."

"The Pacific are exempted from this measure, they are the only ones. Anyone from this country though will be required to automatically self isolate should they exhibit any Covid-19 symptoms on arrival in New Zealand. All of these restrictions will be reviewed in 16 days' time.

"This decision will mean New Zealand will have the widest ranging and toughest border restrictions of any country in the world. We are also encouraging New Zealanders to avoid all non-essential travel overseas - this helps reduce the risk of a New Zealander bringing Covid-19 in."

In addition to restrictions on air travel, as of midnight today the government is issuing a directive to all cruise ships not to come to New Zealand until at least 30 June at which time the directive will be reviewed - this is for incoming cruise ships. It doesn't apply to cargo ships, marine or air crew, so that sea and air freight can remain open for imports and exports.

She wanted to ensure that essential airfreight such as pharmaceuticals could continue to enter the country.

"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."

There's no need for anyone, despite these restrictions, to conduct a run on the supermarket, says Jacinda.

Read more about the Covid-19 coronavirus:

Earlier today, a sixth case of Covid-19 was confirmed by Waitematā District Health Board, and tomorrow's mosque attack national memorial service in Christchurch was cancelled due to concerns about the coronavirus.

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5 Comments
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Where's That Horse Gone . . .

Posted on 15-03-2020 13:51 | By

Talk about shutting the gate after the horse bolts. This will be enforced how? The idea has as much thought as the new gun laws. I would hope there’s economic relief being put in place for the businesses.

Why should the Pacific Islanders be any different

Posted on 15-03-2020 12:37 | By local yokel

Why should the Pacific Islanders be any different than the rest of us. Do they still have to have a 2 week isolation period the same as people coming from other countries ?

Self Isolation

Posted on 15-03-2020 08:08 | By

How is that going to be enforced A Police officer outside the home? JAcinda is living in Narnia

SORRY, but

Posted on 14-03-2020 23:05 | By The Caveman

Should have been put in place 15 days ago !!!

Fools

Posted on 14-03-2020 19:37 | By

Electioneering. Politics before sense. Dumbing down to the dumb. The world has gone mad.