The Latest on the world's coronavirus pandemic:
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced what she says will be some of the toughest border restrictions in the world in an attempt to keep out the new coronavirus.
From Monday, all incoming passengers, including New Zealand citizens, will be required to isolate themselves for 14 days. The only countries exempt from the restrictions are a handful of Pacific islands that haven’t yet had any cases of COVID-19.
New Zealand has had only six confirmed cases of the illness. All of those have been connected with international travelers and there have been no signs yet of any local outbreaks.
The measures announced Saturday will have a big impact on New Zealand’s tourism industry, which provides the country’s largest single source of foreign income.
The Czech Republic has approved further dramatic measures to try to stem the spread of the new coronavirus.
Announcing its decision in the middle of the night, the government ordered retail businesses including shopping malls to close as of Saturday morning.
The exceptions include essential services such as supermarkets, gas stations and pharmacies, electronics stores and places selling newspapers, glasses and supplies for pets.
Bars and restaurants will be closed as well casinos.
The measures are set to be in place for a least 10 days.
“We’re imposing those tough restrictions to prevent a massive spreading of the virus,” Prime Minister Andrej Babis said.
The Czech Republic has 150 cases of COVID-19.
Colombia’s president has ordered his nation’s border with Venezuela closed as a coronavirus containment measure.
Iván Duque announced late Friday that all official border crossings with the neighboring Andean nation will be shuttered beginning at 5 a.m. Saturday.
The two nations share a porous 1,370-mile (2,200-kilometer) border that is crossed by thousands of Venezuelans each day searching for food and medicine. Many also cross to permanently leave their nation’s economic crisis.
Venezuelan officials announced earlier Friday that they have confirmed their first two coronavirus cases.
More than 4.5 million Venezuelans have fled in recent years, many arriving in Colombia. Experts in Colombia are concerned that the migration crisis could exacerbate the spread of coronavirus throughout the region.
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