New Zealand may keep its borders closed for much of 2021 amid pandemic

WION Web Team
Wellington, New Zealand Published: Jan 26, 2021, 04.56 PM(IST)

Coronavirus in New Zealand Photograph:( AFP )

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New Zealand recently confirmed its first case of COVID-19 in several months after a woman who returned to New Zealand tested positive for the South African strain.

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern said today that the county may close its border for most part of the year amid the global vaccine rollout.

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"Given the risks in the world around us and the uncertainty of the global rollout of a vaccine, we can expect our borders to be impacted for much of this year,"  Ardern said.

New Zealand will, however, continue its travel arrangements with Australia and other Pacific nations. 

"We will continue to pursue travel bubbles with Australia and the Pacific, but the rest of the world simply poses too great a risk to our health and our economy to take the risk at this stage," Ardern asserted.

Ardern, however, criticised Australia for re-imposing quarantine for New Zealanders and she communicated her views to  Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

"If we're to enter a trans-Tasman travel bubble, we need to give people confidence they won't see border closures at very short notice over incidents that we believe can be well managed domestically," the New Zealand prime minister asserted.

New Zealand recently confirmed its first case of COVID-19 in several months after a woman who returned to New Zealand tested positive for the South African strain.

The country's health authorities may approve a COVID-19 vaccine Pfizer-BioNTech next week amid pressure to begin the vaccination drive. The Ardern government had earlier eliminated the virus from the country, however, two new cases COVID-19 were detected at an isolation facility on Tuesday.

New Zealand currently has 1,934 confirmed coronavirus cases including 25 deaths with  65 active cases. 

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