Coronavirus: New Zealand airports eGates close, all entries to be manually processed through customs

Everyone entering New Zealand will be processed manually through customs to protect against coronavirus until further notice, it has been announced. 

The New Zealand Customs Service made the announcement on Monday morning. It follows a ban on anyone entering Aotearoa from mainland China, which was announced on Sunday.

"All travellers entering New Zealand will now be required to be individually manually processed (including NZ citizens, permanent residents or their families) and no travellers will be allowed to use eGates," the agency said on Twitter and its website.

"We kindly request travellers to be patient to enable a smooth and efficient transition for all."

The notice from Customs does not give any indication of how long the manual processing is expected to last.

It's not known if Customs will be adding extra staff to help with the longer queues that can be expected at airports due to the eGates closure.

More than 300 people have died so far from coronavirus, with all but one of those deaths occurring in China. 

The city of Wuhan - the epicentre of the outbreak - has been placed in lockdown, and China has suspended all overseas group tours in a bid to stop the spread of the virus.