There have been 144 new community cases of Covid-19 reported in New Zealand today, with one further death also reported.

In a statement, the Health Ministry said 82 people are in hospital, including nine in intensive care.

This morning, the Ministry of Health reported a Covid-19 case in Hawke's Bay which was picked up after a routine hospital swab. It said the case would be included in today's figures and it released the information early to encourage testing.

Yesterday it was reported that there were 145 community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand and a further death of a person in their 80s.

Last night Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced that New Zealand will ban travel from nine southern African countries from 11.59pm tonight in an effort to curb the potential spread of the new Omicron coronavirus variant.

From then only New Zealand citizens will be allowed to travel here and they will also be required to stay in managed isolation for a full 14 day period and undergo testing.

The World Health Organisation has declared the new coronavirus variant to be "of concern" after it originated in South Africa.

Yesterday, the total number of cases was 145. In a statement, the Ministry of Health said there were 77 people in hospital, including eight people in ICU.

In yesterdays update - one death nwas also reported.

The person who died was in their 80s and had been in Auckland City Hospital since 17 November.

On Saturday, 27 November the case breakdown was; 127 new cases in Auckland, with the rest in Waikato (13), Bay of Plenty (4) and Canterbury (1).