National Party MP Chris Bishop is going into self-isolation after returning from Australia - even though he feels fine and returned to New Zealand before the tough new travel rules kick in.

Bishop flew to Australia on Friday morning to watch the one-day cricket international between Australia and New Zealand, landing there just after the game was announced as being spectator-free.

He now joins NZ First MP and Minister Tracey Martin as the other New Zealand MP in self-isolation, though Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick will also self-isolate when she returns from Australia this weekend, as will National MP Kanwal Bakshi when he comes back from his trip to India.

None of them have any symptoms.


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Self Isolation

SELF ISOLATION Hello all. I am going into self-isolation for the next fourteen days. On Friday morning I traveled to Australia, returning yesterday evening. I have talked to Healthline, and their advice is that while I have no legal obligation to self-isolate (because the requirements do not kick in until 1am on Monday morning), they would prefer that I did so. I am following that advice. After I returned home last night I have confined myself to our house in Petone. I have no symptoms and am feeling totally fine. Over the next couple of weeks you can expect to see less of me in public, and more of me online! My number one priority is serving the people of the Hutt Valley, it will just have to be in a different way for the next two weeks. In practice self-isolation means a few things. First, for the next two weeks I will unfortunately be unavailable to meet with Hutt constituents in person. My hard-working office team in my Lower Hutt and Wainuiomata offices will be on hand to assist with matters and I am very happy to do constituency meetings over the phone. If you have an appointment with me, my team will be in touch about doing it over the phone or rescheduling. Second, I will not be at community events such as the Korokoro School gala, the Eastbourne Cricket Club anniversary match, etc. I am really disappointed about this, as getting out and about in the community is one of the most enjoyable parts of my job. Sorry in advance to people who were expecting to see me at events. I will be contacting event organisers personally to pass on my apologies. Third, I have a range of community events scheduled that will now need to either be rescheduled, changed, or cancelled, including three community BBQs in Wainuiomata this coming Saturday, a morning tea on Thursday morning, and my Predator Free public meeting on Thursday. More information to come on these. In some cases other MPs or people representing me may be able to step in. Watch this space. It will take some time to work this through. For those in Petone, you may see my walking Ladyhawke along the Esplanade or by the river, or going for a run. I am advised that that is fine.

Posted by Chris Bishop on Saturday, 14 March 2020

Bishop returned from Australia last night, well before the 1am deadline when the new travel restrictions begin, and went into self-isolation on the advice of Healthline.

"They said, 'There's no legal obligation but we would prefer that you did,' so I am doing that for the next 14 days," Bishop said in a video post he put on his Facebook page.

"I'm fine, I have no symptoms of coronavirus at all, but I'm following the advice of the authorities."

Bishop, who is the Hutt South MP, said he was sad to miss a number of community and public events - such as fun runs, a club cricket game and a school gala - and he would be absent from Parliament for two weeks.

"Sorry in advance to people who were expecting to see me at events. I will be contacting event organisers personally to pass on my apologies.

"If you live in Petone, you might see me walking the dog along the foreshore or maybe going for the occasional run. The advice is that's okay, but for the most part I'll be working from home.

"I'll be dealing with constituent inquiries over the phone ... Hope everyone understands. It's a tough time for the whole of the Hutt but also a tough time for the whole of the country. I just think it's the right thing to do."

It follows today's announcement that Swarbrick will self-isolate for 14 days when she arrives back in New Zealand, following a weekend trip to Australia.


"I have been overseas and as such will be following the protocols outlined by the Prime Minister," Swarbrick said today.

"These protocols were designed to keep everyone healthy. I do not have any symptoms, but I am registering my whereabouts with the Ministry of Health and will be following advice."

Tracey Martin is also in self-isolation, after meeting with Australia's Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton during a Five-Eyes partners meeting in Washington DC.

Dutton had no symptoms of Covid-19 at the time, but woke up with a temperate and a sore throat on Friday. He has since tested positive for the respiratory virus and is now in hospital.

A spokesperson for Martin said she had shown no symptoms, but was self-isolating as a precaution.

A couple of Labour MPs are understood to be sick and are staying home until they are better, but they are not in self-isolation.