Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

New Zealand PM makes 'no apologies' after announcing 'toughest border restrictions' in the world amid coronavirus fears

Countries around the world continued Saturday to enact strict measures such as border closures and flight cancellations to combat the spread of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus.

That includes New Zealand, whose Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Saturday the government will implement a policy under which all travelers, even New Zealanders, must self-isolate upon their arrival in the country for 14 days starting Sunday at midnight.

Ardern said New Zealand, along with Israel and several Pacific Island nations, "will have the widest ranging and toughest border restrictions of any country in the world," adding that she's not making any apologies in this "unprecedented time." All cruise ships will be banned from coming to New Zealand until June 30, as well. There are only six confirmed cases and no deaths attributed to COVID-19 in New Zealand so far.

Ardern has proven herself to be a swift actor in the past. Almost exactly one year ago, a white nationalist gunman killed more than 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, prompting Ardern to usher in a ban on semiautomatic rifles and institute mandatory buybacks in less than a week. It's no surprise she's not taking her time this time, either. Read more at Reuters and New Zealand Herald.