New Zealand's Ardern says border workers must take Covid-19 vaccine after new cases

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said about 86 per cent of border workers have been vaccinated.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said about 86 per cent of border workers have been vaccinated.PHOTO: AFP

WELLINGTON (REUTERS) - New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday (April 12) that people working at the borders must be vaccinated by the end of this month or risk being moved out of the role, after a third coronavirus case related to a front-line staff was reported.

New Zealand has virtually eliminated the Covid-19 virus within its borders and there has been no community transmission for more than 40 days.

But it reported a positive Covid-19 in the community last week of a border worker who had missed two vaccine appointments.

Two more cases linked to this individual have emerged since.

"By the end of April, those not yet vaccinated will not be permitted to work in high-risk workplaces and will be moved to other roles," Ms Ardern said at a news conference.

She said about 86 per cent of border workers have been vaccinated.

New Zealand has started vaccinating its border and managed isolation facility workers and their families with Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines in its first phase. So far it has vaccinated more than 90,000 people.

The country last week temporarily suspended entry for all travellers from India, including its own citizens, following a high number of positive coronavirus cases arriving from the South Asian country.