Coronavirus: Kiwis react with rage to foreigners refusing to self-isolate

Kiwis are incensed after a number of European backpackers told Newshub they would flout New Zealand's self-isolation rules and travel normally throughout the country, despite the threat of coronavirus.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced over the weekend that anyone entering New Zealand from 1am on Monday would have to self-isolate for 14 days, in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19.

However travellers The AM Show spoke to on Monday morning openly admitted they won't play by the rules, and would travel around the country as they had already planned to.

These admissions were not well-received by New Zealanders, many of whom have been forced to self-isolate or cancel trips of their own in response to the rising threat of COVID-19.

Many are now taking to social media to call on those who willingly defy the rules to be deported or locked up for the duration of their stay.

"They should be arrested and put in a lockup isolation. No regard for others. Arrogance at it's worst (sic)," one Kiwi wrote on Facebook.

"Isolate them in a police cell for two weeks," said another.

Others called upon campervan hire companies to do their bit to ensure foreign tourists stick to the rules.

"We need to make sure freedom camper van companies and rental car companies are vigilant about not hiring to new overseas travellers," one person said.

"The police need to be doing random stops on campervans and checking passports for date on entry into the company. Then lock them up if they aren't self-isolating if they are meant to," another wrote.

Earlier on Monday, the Prime Minister told Newshub foreign travellers who fail to self-isolate after arriving in New Zealand could be forcibly quarantined or even deported.

"We have the ability to quarantine them - put them in a facility, quarantine them, have a police officer stand outside the door and make sure they don't leave. But I've also asked the question whether I have the power to deport as well," she said.

"I expect that the answer if it's not [yes] then I will then ask for the power to deport - I don't think it will come to that."