"This is not a permanent arrangement but rather a temporary measure".
Amid the second wave of coronavirus in India with the country reporting over 1 lakh fresh COVID-19 infections daily, New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern on Thursday ordered a temporary suspension on the entry of all passengers from India, including the citizens of New Zealand.
Health teams would use the time until April 28 to try and plan safer ways to accept travellers from India.
"During this temporary suspension the government will investigate options to manage risk", she said.
The move comes after 17 new cases in overseas travellers were found in the past 24 hours, all of whom were from India.
During this time the New Zealand government will look at risk management measures to resume travel and lift the restrictions.
The government had been reviewing its border settings in recent weeks, Ardern said, adding that ultimately New Zealand wanted to see fewer cases arriving in the country.
"Cases of the virus have been on the rise internationally. with surges particularly in Brazil and India". It is the first time that New Zealand has extended any bar on entry to its own citizens and residents.
"We have looked into whether or not we have issues with accuracy of the pre-departure tests".
It would reduce the risk to New Zealand and to the travellers, she says.
The case highlighted the potential fragility of the travel opening, due to start on April 19 and which Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has cautioned could be disrupted in the event of new Covid-19 outbreaks.
Fiji has been calling for travel bubble with the two countries from a year ago, which the Fijian government says will boost our once blooming tourism sector.
It was announced this week that a quarantine-free travel bubble with Australia would operate from 19 April.