Australia and New Zealand close borders to foreigners as future of tourism sector hangs in the balance

Australia and New Zealand have closed their borders to anyone who is not a citizen or resident.

The escalation of new restrictions comes as both countries announce new economic stimulus packages to help offset the impending damage being wrought to both countries as the tourism, aviation and hospitality industries stand on the brink of collapse.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the latest ban was being implemented because most of the cases of Covid-19 cases on home soil had come from overseas.

“We have been thinking to align arrangements across the Tasman Sea and I appreciate the consultation that I’ve had with prime minister Jacinda Ardern in dealing with these issues,” Morrison said.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she recognised how “extraordinary” the situation was.

“We need to do this for the health of the country, and our people,” she said.

“I’m not willing to tolerate risk at our border, that is where predominantly our cases are coming from.”

Both governments have also banned non-essential indoor gatherings with more than 100 people and outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people.