New Zealand suspends entry for travelers from India due to high COVID-19 cases

New Zealand on Thursday temporarily suspended entry for all travelers from India, including its own citizens, for about two weeks following a high number of positive coronavirus cases from the country of South Asia.

The move comes after New Zealand on Thursday recorded 23 new positive coronavirus cases at its border, 17 of which were from India. “We are temporarily suspending entry to New Zealand for travelers from India,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at a press conference in Auckland.

India is grappling with a deadly second wave of COVID-19 with daily infections this week, surpassing the peak of the first wave seen last September.

The suspension will begin at 4:00 p.m. local time on April 11 and will be in effect until April 28. Meanwhile, the government will review risk management measures to resume travel.

“I want to stress that while the COVID arrivals from India have prompted this move, we are looking at how we deal with high risk entry points in general. This is not a country specific risk assessment… ”said Ardern.

New Zealand has all but eliminated the virus within its borders and has not reported any community transmission locally for about 40 days, but it has revised its border parameters as more infected people arrive in New Zealand. Zealand recently, the majority being from India.

Ardern said the moving average of positive cases had risen steadily and affected 7 cases on Wednesday, the highest since last October. New Zealand also reported a new locally infected case on Thursday in a worker employed at a managed isolation facility by coronavirus. The 24-year-old had not yet been vaccinated.