Google founder was allowed to enter New Zealand despite border closures

Sydney, Australia, Aug 5 (EFE).- Google co-founder Larry Page entered New Zealand despite strict Covid-19 border restrictions after his son fell ill while in Fiji, online newspaper Stuff published Thursday.

New Zealand businessman Stephen Tindall, who knows the billionaire founder of Google in person, told the publication that Page entered the country “some time ago” because his young son needed hospital treatment in Auckland.

Page, who Stuff said was living in Fiji during the pandemic, has already left New Zealand, according to Tindall’s account.

Hours after Stuff revealed the news, Health Minister Andrew Little said in parliament that they received a request for the transfer of a child by air ambulance from Fiji accompanied by an adult (Page himself).

The minister justified the move on the need for immediate treatment that was not available in Fiji, without specifying what the ailment was, while Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she did not know until Thursday that the millionaire had entered the country.

The government has not said where the co-founder of Google stayed during his stay or if he had to comply with the strict entry rules in the country.

The news has been controversial in a country shielded against the coronavirus, with its borders closed to tourism for more than a year and with mandatory two-week quarantines for those who receive special permits to enter, usually for work reasons, although there are a few exceptions.

Entering the country is difficult even for New Zealanders who were in other countries when the border closures were decreed and cannot get flights to enter theirs.

This border closure, among other measures, has helped New Zealand avoid a strong outbreak of the pandemic, and so far has only produced 2,880 cases, including 26 deaths.

Page, who founded Google with his partner Sergey Brin more than two decades ago, is the sixth richest person on the planet with an estimated fortune of $ 121 billion (€ 102 billion). EFE


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