New Zealand sees lowest international arrivals in 61 years


Wellington, Jul 14 (IANS): The number of international arrivals in New Zealand in May 2020 was the lowest for any month since 1959, because of COVID-19-related border and travel restrictions, the country's statistics department Stats NZ said on Tuesday.

There were 5,600 arrivals in May 2020 compared with 4,700 in May 1959, according to Stats NZ.

Most arrivals in May 2020 were short-term travellers, made up of 2,600 New Zealand residents and 2,200 overseas visitors, reports Xinhua news agency.

Provisionally there were 900 migrant arrivals. All these passenger types include New Zealand and non-New Zealand citizens, it said.

May was the second month under full border restrictions imposed by the New Zealand government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In April 2020 there were 6,300 arrivals, it added.

"Border restrictions and widespread flight cancellations related to COVID-19 have caused the substantial drop in the number of arrivals and departures in recent months," population indicators manager Tehseen Islam said in the statement.

"Total arrivals in May are down compared with April, however provisional data for June show total arrivals rising to over 9,000," Islam said.

The combined number of arrivals and departures was 15,900 in May 2020, compared with almost 38,200 in April.

In May 2019 almost 1 million people crossed the New Zealand border, he said.

New Zealand had 61,500 arrivals, including 47,400 New Zealand citizens, since full border restrictions were imposed at 11.59 p.m. on March 19, up to and including July 10, 2020, statistics showed.

From 11.59 p.m. on April 9, a compulsory 14 days of managed isolation was introduced for all arrivals to New Zealand.

There have been 20,300 arrivals since then, including 13,400 New Zealand citizens, up to and including July 10, 2020, Stats NZ said.

  

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