New Zealand shuts borders, all tourists locked out

New Zealand has closed its borders to all nations. The last flights from international destinations have already arrived.

Partners and children of New Zealand citizens or residents are exempt from the ban, as are some health and humanitarian workers.

The move will stop tourists, and temporary visa-holders, including students or temporary workers, from coming to or entering New Zealand.

Meetings of more than a hundred people are about to be banned, and a whole range of meetings and fixtures, many in sport, have been cancelled or postponed, along with weddings and funerals. A public information campaign urging people to wash their hands and keep their distance from others has begun.

Meanwhile Air New Zealand has entered into a loan agreement with the New Zealand government which will provide up to $900 million in two tranches over the next 24 months as required at interest rates of between seven and nine percent. It has also cancelled its interim dividend payment worth $123 million.

New Zealand now has 28 confirmed cases of Covid-19, all arising from returning New Zealanders and international visitors. One person who has refused to self-isolate for the required 14-day period is now facing deportation, and the police are conducting spot checks on the several hundred people required to self isolate.

Shares in SkyCity, New Zealand’s only listed casino operator have now fallen to $1.59, its lowest point in two years, with Air New Zealand emerging from its trading halt yesterday to trade at $1.54, also its lowest point.