Government takes further action on COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

The Government has announced a suite of new actions as it steps up its response to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).

Temporary travel restrictions have been extended to include Iran. This means people will not be able to travel from Iran to New Zealand and anyone who has been in Iran in the last 14 days will need to self-isolate.

New Zealand citizens and permanent residents will still be allowed to return home, but will be told to self-isolate for 14 days.

The restriction will initially apply until midnight Tuesday 3 March.

The Government will also not be implementing an exemption from travel restrictions for students in China who had intended to study in New Zealand.

Acting Education Minister Tracey Martin says it was not an easy decision but it is the right one at this stage.

“The Government is conscious of the impact extended travel restrictions will have on universities and affected students but we’ve opted for a safety-first approach. 

“Public health must be the top priority and that includes being able to ensure we could provide healthcare support for thousands of additional students in the event of them arriving from China.

“The Government will continue to provide practical support to education providers as they adjust the way they deliver programmes to students. This includes being more flexible about entry dates for offshore Chinese student visas,” Tracey Martin said.

Health Minister David Clark said starting tomorrow (29 February), health staff will scale up to meet all direct international flights landing at New Zealand airports from Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand.

He said the Government’s priority continues to be the health and safety of New Zealanders.

Keep an eye on our website for the latest information for the education sector on the COVID-19 response: 

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) - Ministry of Education(external link)

For COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) health advice, refer to the Ministry of Health’s website: 

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) - Ministry of Health(external link)

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