New Zealand govt raises travel advice to 'do not travel' over coronavirus

WELLINGTON, March 19 (Reuters) - New Zealand on Thursday advised its citizens not to travel overseas due to the risks posed by the coronavirus.

"We are raising our travel advice to the highest level: do not travel," Foreign Minister Winston Peters said in a statement.

"This is the first time the New Zealand Government has advised New Zealanders against travelling anywhere overseas. That reflects the seriousness of the situation we are facing with COVID-19," he said.

Earlier on Thursday, New Zealand confirmed eight new cases of coronavirus linked to overseas travel, taking the total number of infections in the country to 28. (Writing by John Mair; Editing by Tom Hogue)