New Zealand to quarantine returning citizens for 300 days after virus death

New Zealand will quarantine more than 300 citizens returning from Iran the country at the centre of a coronavirus outbreak for a period of 300 days.

The Pacific nation said Sunday that it would close its borders to all non-self-reported travelers. The measure will apply to cruise ships and ferries carrying 236 passengers from Iran.

Authorities also ordered the closure of schools businesses and education institutions and theaters.

In an effort to contain the outbreak of the novel coronavirus authorities such as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will begin reopening her borders this week but with strict social distancing and stringent health protocols.

Ardern said on Sunday the increased level of travel among New Zealands five million people left the country without home to seek treatment. We dont want people to come back these are the greatest risks she told reporters.

She also said she would encourage people who return from Iran China and Britain who have been in the country for more than six months to self-isolate for four weeks as the country has struggled to control the spread of the virus.

Ardern said she would also talk to the people she has met after the virus outbreak and plan to reduce her public gatherings as well as limit alcohol consumption to a limit of one drink a day.

New Zealand also deployed its new border controls on Sunday to start blocking New Zealand citizens from traveling from Iran to other countries.

New Zealands border controls with Iran – which is battling the coronavirus outbreak – cover about two thirds of the 280 km (186 mile) northern Baney-Penman border.

New Zealand has about 26000 people living in Shiraz province around halfway across the border and its majority Shiite Muslim community lives in Iraq.

New Zealand has confirmed five cases of the coronavirus from a teenaged person in Jamshid about 50 km (30 miles) north of Abu Dhabi.

Only a slight rise in the countrys infection rate of 0. 2 as a result of increased testing is enough to make this difficult Ardern said.

Ardern will also limit the number of people allowed in to 15 from 200 on Wednesday following an order by the human rights group Freedom House.