The Latest: Air New Zealand puts hold on new flight bookings

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Students wearing face masks to protect against the new coronavirus have their documents checked by security officers before the first day of China's national college entrance examinations, known as the gaokao, in Beijing, Tuesday, July 7, 2020. China's college entrance exams began in Beijing on Tuesday after being delayed by a month due to the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand’s national carrier has put a temporary hold on new bookings for flights into the country while the government tries to find enough quarantined hotel rooms for people returning home.

Air New Zealand says the hold will last for three weeks and it is also trying to better align flights with the hotel locations.

New Zealand has eliminated community transmission of the coronavirus but is still getting cases at the border. For the most part, only residents and citizens are able to fly into the country and must remain in a quarantined hotel room for 14 days.

Housing Minister Megan Woods says the government is currently housing nearly 6,000 people in 28 quarantine facilities and is seeing rapid growth in the number of returning residents as the pandemic worsens globally.

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