New Zealand tightens travel rules as COVID spreads

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All air travellers who will not be New Zealand residents should be absolutely vaccinated to enter the nation.

New Zealand has introduced tighter border restrictions as new circumstances of COVID-19 emerged in areas beforehand freed from the coronavirus.

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“We are introducing the requirement for air travellers aged 17 and over, who are not New Zealand citizens, to be fully vaccinated to enter New Zealand,” Christ Hipkins, the minister for COVID-19 response, stated on Sunday.

The nationwide flag service Air New Zealand additionally introduced it was introducing a “no jab, no fly” coverage for passengers on all worldwide flights from February 1.

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The nation has been vastly profitable at containing the virus – reporting simply 27 deaths in a inhabitants of 5 million – largely resulting from tight border controls and lockdowns, permitting pre-pandemic life to largely resume.

But the upped border restrictions come as town of Hamilton and neighbouring Raglan city had been put right into a five-day lockdown, with solely important motion permitted, after two folks examined constructive.

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The circumstances will not be believed to be related to the most recent outbreak in Auckland, 160 kilometres (99 miles) away.

The metropolis of two million has been in lockdown for nearly seven weeks as officers grapple with an outbreak of the extremely transmissible Delta variant that has up to now contaminated 1,320 folks.

About 2,000 folks attended an anti-lockdown rally in Auckland over the weekend, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern describing the demonstration as “a complete slap in the face” for individuals who had been abiding by the strict rules banning public gatherings.

“It was illegal and also it was morally wrong,” she stated.

New Zealand is pursuing a “COVID zero” elimination technique.

It had been freed from group transmission for six months earlier than the most recent Auckland outbreak.

The prime minister has stated strict lockdowns can finish if 90 % of the eligible inhabitants is absolutely vaccinated, contrasting with the present 46 %.

“We have a different approach to COVID within our sights, and in our hands,” Ardern stated on Sunday.

“So as we all look ahead and think about summer, and the plans we are making, make the first step a vaccine. It is the thing that will make those summer plans possible.”

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