Borders closed to everyone except New Zealand citizens and permanent residents

Jacinda Ardern is giving a media conference.

From 11:59 pm tonight (19 march) closing border to all non-citizens or residents, including the Pacific (with exemptions for humanitarian reasons).

People involved in air and sea freight will still be able to come and go.

New Zealand citizens and permanent residents will be able to return.

Ardern said she is ‘increasingly concerned’ that visitors to NZ had not planned to self-isolate.

All cases so far identified are linked to people who have recently come into the country from other countries.

The aim is to slow down the spread and break it into “small waves”.

From today’s briefing:

Nationwide, there were eight new cases announced on Thursday, bringing the total confirmed cases to 28.

Ministry of Health Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said “these new cases all relate to overseas travel … at the moment we still don’t have any evidence of wider community transmission.”

Also today:

The New Zealand Government is advising New Zealanders not to travel overseas due to COVID-19, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced.

The Government has reinforced its commitment to protecting the health of New Zealanders from COVID-19 through the cancellation of indoor events with more than 100 people.