Wellington, Jul 29 (AP) :
New Zealand’s government says it will rush through new laws to allow some people to be charged for their border quarantine costs.
New Zealand hasn’t had any community transmission of the virus for three months, and everybody who enters the country is required to spend two weeks isolated at a hotel. The cost of that is currently picked up by taxpayers and has already amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars.
Under the new law, adults who leave or enter the country for short holidays or business trips will be required to pay about 3,100 New Zealand dollars (USD 2,100) toward their quarantine costs.
But there will be many exceptions to the new fees, and officials acknowledge it will affect less than 10 per cent of travellers.
Minister Megan Woods said the government was carefully balancing the payments against the rights of New Zealanders to return home permanently.