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The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said it hopes that the New Zealand government's temporary ban on travellers coming from India due to a surge in COVID-19 cases among visitors to that country would be lifted after April 28 so that an attempt to move towards normalcy in movement can be made.

This is the first time that New Zealand has imposed a temporary ban on the entry of travellers coming from India, including its citizens. The ban, from April 11 to 28, was announced by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

The travel restriction comes after New Zealand recorded 23 new positive COVID-19 cases in managed isolation on Thursday, of which 17 came from India, reports said quoting the country's Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield.

Asked about the issue during an online briefing, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, "We have got to know from the New Zealand government that it has imposed the ban from April 11-28. They have said it is a temporary ban."

"It is applicable not just to Indians but also New Zealand nationals. We hope that this ban will be removed after April 28 so that we can attempt to move towards normalcy in movement," he said.

To a question on the situation in Myanmar, Bagchi said, "I think last week I had outlined in detail our position, and how we see the situation in Myanmar. Let me reiterate today our condemnation of the violence and our support for restoration of democracy in Myanmar."

Asked about the Canada-based New Democratic Party (NDP) raising issues of Kashmir and farm laws during its convention, the MEA spokesperson said he cannot specifically comment on the issue.

"But, I would like to remind that we have said earlier that these are internal issues," he added.

To a question seeking clarity on which foreign dignitaries would visit the country in the wake of the Raisina Dialogue going completely digital, Bagchi said some dignitaries were planning to come and some of them are still expected to come to India.

The details are still being worked out, he said.

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