Posted on March 20, 2020

Australia, New Zealand Closing Borders to Foreigners in Bid to Contain Coronavirus

Colin Dwyer, NPR, March 19, 2020

Australia and New Zealand are shutting their doors to foreigners.

In separate announcements issued Friday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that visitors who are not residents or citizens of their respective countries will soon be turned away at the border — beginning Friday night in Australia, and even sooner in New Zealand.

Ardern said the travel ban will begin at midnight local time — though exemptions will remain in place for spouses and children of citizens and residents still abroad, as well as key health workers and people traveling to the country for humanitarian reasons.


“The overwhelming proportion of cases in Australia have been imported,” Morrison told a news conference, adding that about 80% of the cases reported in Australia are the result of overseas travel or contact with someone returning from overseas.