11 Apr 2021

Two week India travel suspension starts today

7:43 am on 11 April 2021

A two week ban on all travellers arriving from India starts today.

Signage for check-in at Auckland International Airport

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

The temporary ban means travellers who have been in India in the past two weeks cannot enter the country.

It was announced by the Prime Minister on Thursday and came after a surge in Covid-19 cases being reported at the New Zealand border, from people who had been in India.

This was despite pre-flight testing showing the travellers did not have the virus 72 hours before leaving.

Yesterday of the 10 new cases in managed isolation, eight were from India.

While the ban until 28 April is legal, the Human Rights Commissioner has asked the government for a clearer justification on the decision, saying banning New Zealanders from returning home is a significant limitation on their freedom of movement.

On 9 April, almost two-thirds of Covid-19 cases detected in managed isolation during the previous 30 days were from India.

Meanwhile, India has reported a record daily number of coronavirus infections - more than 145,000, and 794 deaths - its largest tally in more than five months.

The severe second wave is being blamed on a reluctance to wear masks, and on crowding.

The massive Hindu festival, the Kumbh Mela, is continuing on the banks of the Ganges river, with millions expected there next week.

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