New Zealand’s Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has said that the government will continue to maintain current border restrictions until the situation during the pandemic reaches a safe level.
These comments come in the wake of protests held in India, organised by work visa holders urging the NZ government to allow them to return to their lives in the country.
Because of the outbreak of Covid-19, thousands of temporary visa holders to New Zealand are stranded overseas, unable to return while having to pay rent and incur other expenses in the country.
Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said that while the government understood the frustrations of NZ migration visa holders stranded abroad due to the pandemic, Immigration New Zealand considers it necessary to maintain strict border controls to ensure that the virus does not spread further into the country.
Mr Faafoi also said the government is reviewing border settings closely and has introduced several changes to the immigration picture, such as granting 12-month visa extensions to resident visa holders who have been unable to travel to the country to activate their visa, and allowing temporary visa holders with a longstanding connection to NZ entry into the country in limited capacities.
New Zealand has been one of the few countries to successfully tackle the outbreak of the coronavirus and contain it, primarily due to careful control of border restrictions and managed isolation within the country.