New Zealand's border measures will be tightened with all returning Kiwis screened for Covid-19 coronavirus, the Prime Minister announced today.
Jacinda Ardern said of the people who are still able to return to New Zealand will all be screened for the virus. >
She said the additional measures were "in line with our expectation the proportion of New Zealanders returning home who have potentially come into contact with Covid-19 is likely to have increased".
If those returning are symptomatic they will be tested and placed in isolation in an approved facility. If they are not symptomatic but have no place to self-isolate they will also go to an approved facility.
If they are unable to be transport home within New Zealand without self-isolating, they will also go into a facility. Those who can self-isolate will be checked on by police.
Those who do not follow the rules will be fined and quarantined.
"These measures are tough but reflect the higher risk these New Zealanders pose, through no fault of their own.
"These are the measures we must take."
Ms Ardern said there had been a 30 per cent drop in expected arrivals of New Zealanders, due to either changing their mind on returning or transit routes no longer being available.
They are expecting up to 10,000 returning New Zealanders until the end of March, and that had been factored into the border measures.
Yesterday, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said in a statement that many of the transit counties used to get to New Zealand, such as Singapore, are no longer available as foreign nationals are being prevented from going through their airports.
"It has become very difficult to return to New Zealand from all around the world," he said.
"We are reaching a point where the best option for most New Zealanders offshore is to shelter in place, by preparing to safely stay where they are."