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New Zealand's borders may stay shut

January 27, 2021 6:26 am
Labour Party leader and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to media after claiming victory during the Labor Party Election Night Function at Auckland Town Hall on October 17, 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand. [Source: CNN]

New Zealand’s borders will remain closed for most of this year as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on.

The country will pursue travel arrangements with neighbouring Australia and other Pacific nations, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Tuesday.

Medical authorities, meanwhile, may approve a COVID-19 vaccine as early as next week, Ardern said, as pressure mounts for a start to vaccinations after the country confirmed its first case of the new coronavirus in the community in months.

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For travel to restart, authorities either needed confidence that those vaccinated don’t pass COVID-19 on to others, which is not yet known, or enough of the population needed to be vaccinated so people can safely re-enter New Zealand.

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