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By RNZ News

Health officials have ramped up their presence at airports in New Zealand as tougher travel restrictions came into force today.

From 1am today all travellers who enter the country, except from Pacific Island countries, must go into isolation for 14 days.

Since the announcement of the new restrictions airlines have been overwhelmed with calls, and are asking for patience from their customers.

READ MORE: Global coronavirus updates – Italy reports 368 deaths in 24 hours

The tourism industry also says it will be affected by the new rules and is predicting widespread job losses.

But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said a relief package will be unveiled tomorrow to try to mitigate the blow.

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So far New Zealand has eight confirmed cases of Covid-19 including two more people tested positive yesterday.

The Reserve Bank has cut its benchmark interest rate by three quarters of a percentage point, to support the economy against the impact of the Covid-19 virus.

The central bank cut its official cash rate to a record low 0.25 percent from 1 percent.

Across the globe, there is chaos at US airports after new health screening measures came into force for people returning from Europe.

In Britain, every person over the age of 70 will be told “within the coming weeks” to stay at home for an extended period.

  • If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs)

This article is republished under the Pacific Media Centre’s content partnership with Radio New Zealand.

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