TODAY |

Government set to deliver update on India travel ban later today

The Government will make an announcement later today on the temporary ban on flights from India, which is in place until April 28.

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Jacinda Ardern says she would make the same decision on a temporary travel ban if a different country had been involved. Source: Q+A

Minister for Covid-19 Response Chris Hipkins is scheduled to update changes to the suspension in Auckland at 12pm today.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the travel ban would start on April 11.

The ban included New Zealand citizens attempting to come home, with the Government concerned about the surging number of Covid-19 cases at the time.

"Cases of the virus have been on the rise again internationally," Ardern said at the time.

"We are starting to see this global trend mirrored locally [in an increase of Covid-19 cases in MIQ]. 

"It is to the border we look to manage this global spike."

Ardern added at the time the decision was about safety for all.

"People are getting sick in the act of travelling to New Zealand. Not on the plane, but literally the act of coming to the airport to leave,” she said.

“I don’t want people experiencing that."

Ardern warned at the time the suspension of flights could be extended beyond April 28 if there is still a risk present.

Today’s update comes after Australia opted to limit flights arriving from India last night instead of a full-fledged ban.

As part of the move though, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it will be harder for Australians to be granted exemptions to travel to India.

Also in the past 24 hours, India recorded the worst single day for any country with 314,835 cases - surpassing the previous record of 297,430 held by the US.

The country has chalked up 15.93 million cases since the pandemic began including more than 184,000 deaths.