WELLINGTON: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Saturday (Mar 14) that everyone entering the country from midnight Sunday must self isolate for 14 days in an effort to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

People from small South Pacific island countries, which currently have no reported cases, will be exempted, Ardern said in a news conference. New Zealand has a large South Pacific islander population.

READ: New Zealand calls off Christchurch attack commemoration amid coronavirus fears

All cruise ships will also be told not to come to New Zealand until Jun 30, she said.

Ardern said these were “far-reaching and unprecedented” measures to tackle a global pandemic. New Zealand has six confirmed cases and has not recorded any deaths.

New Zealand has also cancelled a national remembrance service to mark Sunday’s first anniversary of the Christchurch mosque attacks because of coronavirus fears.

“This is a pragmatic decision. We’re very saddened to cancel, but in remembering such a terrible tragedy, we shouldn’t create the risk of further harm being done,” Ardern said in an earlier announcement.

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