Explained: Why New Zealand imposed restrictions on travellers from India. Will other countries follow?
New Delhi, Apr 08: India is seeing a surge in the novel coronavirus cases and imposing of fresh international travel restrictions on flights from the country is becoming a reality.
On Thursday, New Zealand announced that it suspended the entry of travellers from India, including its own citizens. The suspension will take effect from April 11 and will be in place till April 28, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a news conference in Wellington.
Why New Zealand banned travellers from India?
According to reports, the move comes after New Zealand recorded 23 new positive coronavirus cases at its border on Thursday, of which 17 were from India. Within its borders, the South Pacific nation has virtually eliminated the coronavirus, having not reported any locally transmitted cases for about 40 days.
But it's been reviewing its border settings as more people with infections arrive in New Zealand recently, majority being from India, the news agency reported. Ardern said the rolling average of positive cases has been steadily rising and hit seven cases on Wednesday, the highest since last October.
Currently, most of the countries to where flights operate from India are either repatriation flights being operated by a particular country or are flights operating under the air bubble arrangement.
However, India has air bubble arrangements with 27 countries including the US, the UK, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, Qatar, and the UAE.
While it is not clear yet whether these countries will ban travellers from India, the rising number of coronavirus cases had been one of the key reasons behind jurisdictions restricting entry at their borders.
Restrictions imposed in other countries
Earlier, the UK announced a traffic light system for international travel by classifying countries under three categories - red, amber and green. According to reports, while the countries put under each of these categories is yet to be announced, the vaccination rate and the level of variants in a country are likely to determine which level a country is placed at.
British nationals arriving from red list countries will have to mandatorily undergo institutional quarantine, in addition to testing upon arrival. In the traffic light system, green countries would mean people could return to the UK with no restrictions, while those arriving from amber destinations could quarantine at home, and people travelling from red countries would require to undergo a 10-day quarantine at a hotel.