National call for border closure for non citizens and residents amid coronavirus

National's Simon Bridges is calling for the Government to close New Zealand's borders amid the spread of coronavirus, a move Winston Peters said was "imminently" being looked at. 

A file image of a woman in an airport wearing a face mask. Source: Pexels

Currently, all travellers entering New Zealand, except from the Pacific Islands, are required to enter self isolation for 14 days and there is a travel ban on mainland China and Iran. 

"We’ve seen enough internationally and in New Zealand to know that this is the right move. The Government needs to go further and close our borders to non-New Zealand citizens and permanent residents," Mr Bridges said today. 

Answering on behalf of the Prime Minster today in Parliament, Winston Peters said closing the border to all non-citizens and non-residents was a move that "we will be imminently looking at, and will be able to give you answer not now but, I think, very, very soon".

"The reality is that as of today, there are 28 (coronavirus cases) and they all are connected with overseas travel."

It comes as Mr Peters increased New Zealand's travel advice to its highest level, with all Kiwis advised not to travel overseas and those overseas urged to come home. 

This afternoon, indoor gatherings in New Zealand were limited to a maximum of 100 people.

"Today’s move to limit mass gatherings was a positive step forward from the Government and I urge it to now go further and close our borders," Mr Bridges said.

"We are a small isolated nation and we should take advantage of our geographical position."