The Government is placing temporary entry restrictions into New Zealand on all foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through mainland China to assist with the containment of the novel coronavirus and to protect New Zealand and the Pacific Islands from the disease.
This will take effect from Monday and will remain in place for up to 14 days. The position will be reviewed every 48 hours.
• Any foreign travellers who leave or transit through mainland China after 2 February 2020 (NZ time) will be refused entry to New Zealand.
• Any foreign travellers in transit to New Zealand on 2 February 2020 will be subject to enhanced screening on arrival but, pending clearance, will be granted entry to New Zealand.
• New Zealand citizens and permanent residents returning to New Zealand will still be able to enter, as will their immediate family members, but will be required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival back in the country.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said MFAT has raised its travel advice to all New Zealanders for all of mainland China to the highest level - 'do not travel'.
"Cabinet convened last night to discuss the most up to date public health advice and recent developments in the spread of the virus.
"We have been advised by health officials that while there are still a range of unknowns in the way the virus is being transmitted, we should take a precautionary approach and temporarily stop travel into New Zealand from mainland China, and of people who have recently been in China," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.
"It is critically important that we both protect New Zealanders from the virus and play our part in the global effort to contain it.
"I am particularly mindful that we are a gateway to the Pacific, and must factor that into our decision making.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters said the decision had not been taken lightly.
"Ultimately, this is a public health decision. The outbreak has been well managed by China, and these temporary measures are to reinforce work being done to try and reduce human to human transmission."
Peters said New Zealand hasn't had a confirmed case and wants to keep it that way.
The health and safety of New Zealanders is our main priority.
"I have been in close contact with my Chinese counterpart on New Zealand's decision and have conveyed New Zealand's willingness to assist with China's efforts to control and defeat the virus," Peters said.
Health Minister Dr David Clark says the New Zealand and Pacific Island passengers returning from Wuhan will be put into isolation at a military facility in Whangaparoa for 2 weeks.
"The training camp has been chosen because of its size and facilities, as well as its location and secure nature. It also has its own medical facilities," he said.
"During the isolation period the returnees will receive daily medical checks. Families will be kept together where possible, but will remain isolated from other returnees.
"Efforts will be made to ensure they can maintain as normal a life as possible while in isolation: working remotely, meeting education needs for children and providing for leisure activities."
The charter flight would land "some distance" from the main terminal in Auckland where further health screening would be conducted.
"Standard border control measures, such as biosecurity checks will be completed as a matter of priority."
Chinese authorities were conducting temperature checks for all passengers who were departing from Wuhan, he said.
"In addition, New Zealand St John staff, which includes a Medical Director and two paramedics, and an Air New Zealand Doctor will conduct further health checks prior to boarding."
More to come