The suspension of travel from India has been met with further frustration today by those who were set to be arriving in NZ from the country in the coming weeks.
Five of the six new Covid-19 cases at the border today are from India, reaffirming the Government's move to temporarily shut out returnees from the Asian nation as its daily case numbers continue to skyrocket.
But those who are just days away from planned trips have been sharing how disappointed they are online.
“Yes, this news has been devastating for us since we were booked to arrive on 20th April. This is the second time we were trying to return,” Shobha Atre said on social media.
The travel ban comes as India hits another Covid-19 record, with over 130,000 cases in a day.
“In the last two weeks we've had over 60 passengers who've come in from India who've tested positive for Covid-19, my recollection is we have around 90 active cases at the moment so as a proportion you can see it is relatively high,” Jacinda Ardern said today.
“I can fully understand why the Government made the decision on India, and didn't include countries like Brazil or America, because the rate of those Covid returnees is very, very low compared to the ones from India,” said Paul Patel from the NZ Indian Central Association.
But some say there are other steps the Government could have taken.
“What we have been really craving is for some sort of can-do solutions-based approach as opposed to a sort of blockade… there are obviously ways in which this kind of risk can be managed - we're waiting all ears pinned for the solution,” immigration advisor Katy Armstrong said.
But Ardern’s position is to mitigate risk.
“It is about exploring additional options, making sure that pre-departure testing is as robust as it can be. If there are things that can be done around that pre-departure or on arrival to reduce risk,” Ardern explained at a press conference today.
A father and daughter who have been apart for more than a year are now forced to wait longer.
The Indian government is hopeful the suspension will be capped at two weeks.
“We hope that after April 28, this ban will be lifted so we can try and move back towards normal movement between the two countries,” Arindam Bagchi from India's Ministry of External Affairs said.