A pregnant New Zealand journalist in Qatar can return to her own country. She was previously banned from entering New Zealand because it has closed its borders due to the coronavirus.
Still, the government has now allowed her to come after much commotion over the refusal. Charlotte Bellis, 35, who worked for al-Jazeera in Afghanistan, wants to go home to give birth.
When the authorities refused, Bellis turned to the Taliban. They said she would be welcome in Afghanistan. It is illegal in Qatar to be unmarried and pregnant. Bellis’s wish and the hospitality of the Taliban have received a lot of attention in and outside New Zealand.
Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said the decision to let her come back had nothing to do with the fuss. The matter has been reconsidered, and a place in a quarantine centre is available. New Zealanders can return for very urgent reasons and must then be quarantined for a while. Robertson said the government would announce plans to reopen the borders on Thursday.
The commotion about Bellis has again brought to the attention that many New Zealanders have been stranded abroad for a long time as a result of the strict corona measures.