Image source: thestraitstimes.com
New Zealand's borders are likely to remain closed for much of the year as health officials assess global vaccine rollouts, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warned Tuesday. Ardern said the emergence over the weekend of New Zealand's first case of community transmission in more than two months showed the danger Covid-19 still posed to a nation hailed for its response to the pandemic.
She said her government would not re-open its borders- which have been effectively closed to all but returning citizens since last March- while the pandemic was still raging worldwide.
"Given the risks in the world around us and the uncertainty of the global rollout of a vaccine, we can expect our borders to be impacted for much of this year," she told reporters.
Still, Ardern said New Zealand would continue to pursue "travel bubbles" with Australia and Pacific Island nations, which have also been largely successful at keeping out or containing the virus.