Simon Bridges calls for travel ban on visitors from coronavirus-stricken South Korea, Italy

Source: 1News

National is calling for tougher restrictions that would ban tourists from South Korea and Italy visiting New Zealand during the worldwide coronavirus outbreak.

It comes as Australia banned visitors from South Korea last week, and announced a ban on travellers from Italy today.

Currently, anyone arriving in New Zealand from the two countries are asked to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival.

The Opposition Leader said today he doesn't think that goes far enough.

“Today, we have called for a travel ban for people from South Korea and Italy and that’s really because we believe in National that there is still a prospect to contain this virus in New Zealand, and if not to certainly slow it down dramatically,” he said from Parliament.

“We look at what Australia is doing, where they have made these calls in their national interest, and we think it’s the right thing to do here as well.”

Earlier today, the Ministry of Health announced there were no new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand for the fourth day running.

So far, there have been five confirmed cases and two probable cases here.

Italy has been struggling to contain the outbreak and recorded 168 deaths from the coronavirus in the last 24 hours. The entire nation was put into lockdown this week in an effort to stop the spread. 

Recently, numbers in South Korea have been coming down, but a cluster of 50 cases in Seoul has caused some concern of a resurgence in community spread.