NZ Government blocks travellers from mainland China


In a move that increasingly shows how serious this situation is becoming, NZ has announced the blocking of travellers from mainland China…

Coronavirus: NZ Government to block travellers from mainland China

New Zealand will block travellers who have been through mainland China in a bid to stop the deadly coronavirus reaching our shores.

The Government announced the drastic decision this afternoon.

It is placing temporary entry restrictions into New Zealand on all foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through, mainland China to assist with the containment of the novel coronavirus and to protect New Zealand and the Pacific Islands from the disease.

This will take effect from Monday and will remain in place for up to 14 days. The position will be reviewed every 48 hours.

…the fact that the disease can be present minus symptoms demands a response that goes beyond health checks at the border, it requires closing the border altogether.

There are still question marks over the true level of deaths and infection rates that China is providing with steep jumps in both each day.

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This is an increasingly dynamic and fluid situation and the Government has dragged its feet in comparison to Australia and American decisions to block direct flights because China has not been helpful getting the 50 odd NZers out of the containment zone and NZ didn’t wish to offend.

This becomes a political issue if the Government start looking like they have not been on top of this the way the Public will demand with the benefit of hindsight.

In less than 2 weeks is the Auckland Lantern Festival to celebrate Chinese New Year with an expected 200 000 visitors. This sounds like a really bad idea with a virus that can get in without detection. I would be surprised if Auckland officials allowed it.

Based on the hopeless measles response, NZ must do better.


  1. Australia only imposed the travel ban yesterday so I think just in time.

    However China needs to be held to account for this, possibly punished by the rest of the world and made to pay compensation for the disruption and losses they have caused.

  2. Pretty fair summary du jour.
    Closing borders is best done early, there has been a lot of mucking about and non erring on the side of caution to this point.
    It was enlightening seeing calls for NZ to shut down flights to protect the islands before we protect kiwis from the source of infection by stopping those flights- What a woke bunch of fools we have in charge.
    Let’s hope we didn’t squander a chance to be disease free.
    We should still be sending medical teams to help our trading partner as best we can and to learn for future events.
    Having been through natural disaster, people really appreciate even the gesture of people from another country having your back and we shouldn’t just take Chinese money for our stuff without caring for their people.

    • Agree closing the border is better late than never, piped to the post, when even the Pacific Islands were more proactive than NZ on the safety of their citizens and borders!

      But as for sending medical teams, we have such a shortage of medical personal in NZ, not a good idea.

      Nations that are not neoliberal nations like Cuba, have plenty of medical staff and able to help others in times of need.

      NZ is not in that position, as 30 years of putting a $ before medical degrees and health and outsourcing or migrating in dysfunctional students and doctors from around the world to make profits/save money in NZ tertiary degrees and post degrees, are thus now reaping what they sow.

      • We spare the money to send firemen and the military to aid our friends and allies as we should.
        Sending medical resources to a valued trading partner in this instance would be a gesture of help and an extremely invaluable learning exercise for NZ in coping with a pandemic.

  3. Why cancel Chinese New Year because of something happening in China. All that would do is highten the fear of Chinese people living in NZ who have not step foot in China for years but perhaps that is your plan to make us more insular following your often printed campaign

  4. This is a good first move, but the concern is heaps of NZ citizens and residents coming back from there who will simply be asked to ‘self-isolate’. How many people will necessarily adhere to this condition?

    Instead there should be compulsory quarantining for at least 2 weeks of anyone returning from the affected areas. After all those coming back on the Australian and NZ government flights are going into compulsory quarantining. So it is inconsistent that those who make their way back here by their own means, are not required to.

    • +1 Mark

      It is better to be cautious than have loss of life. Two weeks quarantine is hardly a massive burden!

  5. We had to do this, greedy Air NZ should have stopped flight weeks ago after us spreading our measles disease to Samoa. Also what is the point of NZ citizens be allowed to go home and self isolate when they can give the virus to those who pick them up at the airport and their whanau who they live with can then go out and spread it. Not a very good plan.

  6. When China kind of locks down Wuhan, a whole province and some other cities, then NZ Inc. has the right to lock down also.

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