Coronavirus: How New Zealanders returning from Wuhan will be quarantined

The Government has revealed how New Zealanders returning from Wuhan will be quarantined to stop them from spreading the coronavirus.

An Air New Zealand charter flight is being organised to evacuate dozens of New Zealanders, Pacific Islanders and Australian citizens, Minister of Health David Clark announced on Sunday.

"We know this is a difficult and stressful time for those people stuck in Wuhan and their families," he said.

"It's important they receive the best possible care, but also that effective public health measures are in place to ensure the welfare of both passengers and crew."

Before arrival

"Chinese authorities are already conducting temperature checks for all passengers who are departing from Wuhan," Clark said.

"In addition, New Zealand St John staff, which includes a Medical Director and two paramedics, and an Air New Zealand doctor will conduct further health checks prior to boarding."

The checks are to make sure that all passengers are fit to fly.

Measures will also be taken to ensure the safety of flight staff, including infection control gear being worn whenever they come into close contact with passengers.

Health staff onboard will provide passengers with facemasks and will also give them advice during the flight.

After arrival

"The charter flight will land some distance from the main terminal in Auckland, and further health screening will be conducted," Clark said.

"Standard border control measures, such as biosecurity checks will be completed as a matter of priority."

He expects that any Australian citizens and residents will be transferred to a dedicated flight - with its own health measures in place - and flown across the Tasman in coordination with the Australian government.

"Returning New Zealanders and Pacific Island citizens will be transported to a military facility at Whangaparaoa, where they will spend 14 days in isolation."

The training camp was chosen because of its size, facilities, location and secure nature. It also has its own medical resources.

Returnees will receive daily medical checks during the isolation period. Families will be kept together where possible, but will remain separated from other returnees.

"Efforts will be made to ensure they can maintain as normal a life as possible while in isolation: working remotely, meeting education needs for children and providing for leisure activities.

"Managing the return of people from a region experiencing an outbreak such as this is a major logistical challenge, but with meticulous planning and a precautionary approach we are now ready to bring New Zealand citizens home," Clark said.

The announcement came at the same time Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced New Zealand will ban travellers from China to protect against the virus. This will take effect from Monday and will be in place for up to 14 days.

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