New Zealand temporarily bans travel from India

New Zealand has temporarily banned all travelers from India after a surge of imported COVID-19 cases from the country.

The move comes after New Zealand recorded 23 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, 17 of which were from India.

New Zealand had virtually eliminated the virus from its borders - and hasn't reported local transmissions for over a month.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the ban Thursday, which will apply to anyone who has been in India over the past two weeks, the first time such a ban will include New Zealanders as well.

"This will take effect from 4 p.m. (0400GMT) on the 11th of April, this Sunday. That allows us time to draft the legal orders that will be required. This temporary suspension will remain in place until the 28th of April."

India has reported nearly 13 million cases of COVID-19, the third highest tally in the world after the United States and Brazil, and is currently battling an even harsher second wave of the disease.

New Zealand has implemented testing requirements to reduce the number of imported COVID-19 cases, but Ardern added that has not helped with the surge from India.

New Zealand also reported one new locally infected case on Thursday, an employee at a coronavirus isolation facility.

Video Transcript

- New Zealand has temporarily banned all travelers from India after a surge of imported COVID-19 cases from the country. The move comes after New Zealand recorded 23 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, 17 of which were from India. New Zealand had virtually eliminated the virus from its borders and hasn't reported local transmissions for over a month. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the ban Thursday, which will apply to anyone who has been in India over the past two weeks-- the first time such a ban will include New Zealanders as well.

JACINDA ARDERN: This will take effect from 4:00 PM on the 11th of April this Sunday. That allows us time to draft the legal orders that will be required. This temporary suspension will remain in place till the 28th of April.

- India has reported nearly 13 million cases of COVID-19. The third highest tally in the world after the United States and Brazil. And it's currently battling an even harsher second wave of the disease. New Zealand has implemented testing requirements to reduce the number of imported COVID-19 cases. But Ardern added that has not helped with the surge from India. New Zealand also reported one new locally infected case on Thursday, an employee at a coronavirus isolation facility.