New Zealand has temporarily closed its High Commission in Barbados and its Embassy in Myanmar due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced the moves on Sunday, saying the government had made the decision based on the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown in Barbados and Yangon in Myanmar.

The government was also concerned about the pressure Covid-19 was putting on local health systems, Peters said.

The staff and their families will be withdrawn from both posts. The closures will be reviewed in one month.

Could there be more closures? Peters did not rule out the possibility that more diplomatic posts could be shut.

“We are actively working to sustain our network around the globe and we have every intention to keep the vast majority of New Zealand’s 62 diplomatic posts open,” Peters said.
“However, with the rapidly changing health, safety and security situation for staff overseas due to COVID-19, we cannot rule out other temporary closures as a result of the pandemic.”

What if New Zealanders in those countries need consular assistance? If you need consular help, you can still reach out to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through its helpline. Find out more details here.

Source: CNN News


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