15 Feb 2020

Coronavirus: China travel restrictions extended by 8 days

3:13 pm on 15 February 2020

The temporary restrictions on travel from China to New Zealand will remain in place for a further eight days.

Passengers from international flights at Auckland Airport on Monday 27 January, after flights from Guangzhou and Shanghai had touched down. Some people were wearing masks.

Photo: RNZ / Liu Chen

Health minister David Clark said the extension is a precautionary measure to protect against the spread of the coronavirus.

The restrictions prevent foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through, mainland China to New Zealand.

Clark said New Zealand citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family returning to New Zealand will still be able to, but are being told to self-isolate for 14 days.

No cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in New Zealand so far, but Clark said it is an evolving situation.

"The health advice remains consistent - we must take a precautionary approach, and that is why the travel restrictions will continue in the short term.

"At every step our response to the coronavirus has been based on the best available science and health advice.

"Our border response is in line with Australia, the US and a range of other countries. It is a responsible approach to assist international efforts to contain this disease, and to protect New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

"Imposing travel restrictions is not a decision that was taken lightly, but in the end this is a matter of public health," Clark said.

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