Covid-19 coronavirus: Freeze on quarantine-free travel bubble to Queensland and New South Wales extended

Sydney lockdown extension confirmed as NSW records 27 new community cases. Video / 9 News


The Ministry of Health has announced the pause on the quarantine-free travel from Queensland and New South Wales to New Zealand will continue.

It says there is a need to better understand “the developing situation” including the number and pattern of cases being reported in these Australian states.

New Zealand public health staff remain in close contact with Australian health authorities about the actions being taken in each State, the ministry said in a statement released tonight.

“As with previous pauses, it will be under constant review.”

At this stage there is no date on when lifting the freeze would be re-evaluated.

“We consider this pause to be prudent while investigations continue and until further test results are returned,” the ministry said.

From Friday July 9 at 11.59pm, “green flights” will open from Queensland and New South Wales to New Zealand.

Travel on such flights would be limited to New Zealand citizens and Australians who normally reside here. Critical workers who were stranded in Queensland or New South Wales would also be welcome.

Anyone boarding these flights would need to have a negative pre-departure test taken within 72 hours before departure, the ministry said.

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Travellers were also required to meet all the standard public health measures for travel, which included declaring they had not been in a location of interest in the past 14 days, weren’t symptomatic, weren’t a close contact and weren’t awaiting the results of a Covid-19 test.

When arriving in New Zealand, travellers were asked to monitor themselves closely for any Covid-19 symptoms and to “diligently keep contact tracing records” using the NZ COVID Tracer app or another form of diary, the ministry said.

Likewise, anyone with Covid-19 symptoms should stay at home, get tested, and remain in isolation until a negative test result is returned, the ministry said.

The growing numbers of cases across the globe was a stark reminder that the Covid-19 pandemic was still evolving, the ministry said.

“It reinforces we are taking the right approach with our precautionary actions to protect the public health of New Zealanders.”

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