New Zealand has temporarily suspended entry for all travellers from India, including its own citizens, for about two weeks following a high number of positive coronavirus cases arriving from the South Asian country.
The move comes after New Zealand recorded 23 new positive coronavirus cases at its border on Thursday, of which 17 were from India.
“We are temporarily suspending entry into New Zealand for travellers from India,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a news conference in Auckland.
India has recorded 12.8 million COVID-19 cases, the most after the United States and Brazil. It is now battling a deadly second wave of infections, with the number of infections in the past 24 hours reaching an all-time high of 126,789 cases on Thursday.
The new cases reported by India’s health ministry overtook Wednesday’s 115,736 infections with dozens of cities and towns imposing night curfews to try to contain infections.
Deaths from COVID-19 rose by 685 in the past 24 hours, the highest since November, raising India’s toll to 166,862 dead since the pandemic began.
New Zealand’s suspension of entry for travellers from India will start from 4pm local time (04:00 GMT) on April 11 and will be in place until April 28. During this time the government will look at risk-management measures to resume travel.
The suspension applies to anyone who has been in India during the past 14 days. It is the first time that New Zealand has extended any bar on entry to its own citizens and residents.