New Zealand says everyone entering country must self-isolate to contain coronavirus

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at a press conference in Christchurch, on March 13, 2020.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at a press conference in Christchurch, on March 13, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

WELLINGTON (REUTERS) - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Saturday (March 14) that everyone entering the country from midnight on Sunday must self -isolate for 14 days in an effort to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

People from small South Pacific island countries, which currently have no reported cases, will be exempted, Ms Ardern said in a news conference. New Zealand has a large South Pacific islander population.

All cruise ships will also be told not to come to New Zealand until June 30, she said.

Ms Ardern said these were "far-reaching and unprecedented" measures to tackle a global pandemic. New Zealand has six confirmed cases and has not recorded any deaths.