Jacinda Ardern 'tossing up further precautions' for travellers from India when travel ban lifts

Jacinda Ardern says she's not ruling out further restrictions on travellers from India when the current travel ban lifts.

The Prime Minister defended the travel ban on Monday, telling The AM Show while New Zealand citizens have been left stateless, it's only temporary.

"Our stance is we've given people who needed to come home the ability to do so for quite some time - and now, a year on, we've put a temporary hold in place."

Before the ban, Ardern consistently said closing the borders completely to certain countries was impossible, as it would leave New Zealand citizens stateless - but has now admitted while citizens will be in limbo, it will only be temporary.

The ban will lift on April 28 - but Ardern says further precautionary measures could be put in place.

One option would be to shorten the length of time required for pre-departure testing. 

The current requirement is all travellers must provide evidence they have tested negative within 72 hours of departure - but Ardern hinted this 72 hour deadline could be made tighter for travellers from India. 

"We don't have concern about the management [of travellers] once they get here, as we treat everyone as if they have COVID-19.But [the virus] is rampant over there."

India is battling a catastrophic resurgence of the virus with India’s capital New Delhi recorded 25,500 coronavirus cases in a 24-hour period.

On Monday about one in three people tested returned a positive result.

Nationwide, India reported 261,500 new cases on Sunday, taking the total number of cases to nearly 14.8 million, second only to the United States, which has reported more than 31 million infections. The country's deaths from COVID-19 rose by a record 1501 to reach a total of 177,150.