New Zealand has recently announced the temporary closure of its High Commission in Barbados and its Embassy in Myanmar due to the deadly coronavirus outbreak. The closure was announced on March 22 by Foreign Minister Winston Peters. As per reports, the decision was made due to dwindling number of flights flying in and out of Bridgetown in Barbados and Yangon in Myanmar.
According to reports, the decision was also taken because there was concern regarding the pressure the coronavirus outbreak was putting on local health systems. The staff of the commission and embassies will soon be evacuated and the closure of the posts will be reviewed in one month. Peters also did not rule out the possibility of closing down more diplomatic posts around the world.
As per reports, Peters also added that given the rapidly changing health, safety and security situation, it was possible that there would be more temporary closures.
New Zealand has announced that it will be closing its borders to all foreigners in an attempt to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus. According to reports, only permanent residents, citizens and their families will be allowed to enter the country. The ban will go into effect from midnight on March 19. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during a press conference.
As per reports, Arden said that permanent residents and New Zealand citizens will be allowed to return, as well as their partners and children. She added that the ban will also now apply to the Pacific which had been earlier exempted. The Pacific was added to the list of banned foreigners due to the recent discovery of the first case of COVID-19.
There are currently 66 positive cases of coronavirus in New Zealand with no deaths reported. The novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has claimed more than 13,069 lives across the world and has infected over 3,08,463 people globally since it first broke out in December 2019.