New Zealand preparing for further ‘tough’ travel restrictions

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the government was moving ahead with further travel restrictions to combat the spread of coronavirus as “New Zealanders’ public health was the number one priority”.

“Often we have been first,” she told The NZ Herald. “We moved relative to others first on northern Italy, we’ve moved on South Korea, and of course we moved on Iran very early as well and we will keep moving as we see that changing environment.

“That has meant that we’ve had some of the toughest restrictions in the world. I expect I’ll be getting further advice in the next 24 hours to move again on our border restrictions.”

But Health Minister David Clark said there are no plans currently to ban travel from Europe to New Zealand, despite the recent US travel ban to Europe.

The government has no plans to ban large-scale public events at this stage either.

“There’s a couple of things today which will just remind people of the importance of taking this seriously … If you’re feeling at all unwell, don’t go out to events,” he said.

“If you’re washing your hands regularly, you are keeping your friends and loved ones safer than if you’re not.”