The New Zealand government has announced it will pause the travel bubble between all Australian states and territories for three days beginning from 8:30PM AEST on Saturday.
- New Zealand made the decision after several locally acquired cases were recorded in different Australian states and territories
- An NZ government minister said it was the “right thing to do” to keep COVID-19 out of the country
- The travel bubble only reopened to Melbourne residents on Tuesday after closing in late May
It said the decision followed updated public health advice regarding multiple cases and outbreaks across Australia in differing stages of containment.
The travel bubble will remain paused until 10:00pm Tuesday AEST.
NZ’s COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said the pause was necessary due to the growing number of cases being reported across Australia.
“I acknowledge the frustration and inconvenience that comes with this pause, but given the high level of transmissibility of what appears to be the Delta variant, and the fact that there are now multiple community clusters, it is the right thing to do to keep COVID-19 out of New Zealand,” Mr Hipkins said.
In a statement, the NZ government said it would continue to monitor the situation closely and the decision would be reviewed on Monday.
“This short pause will give us time to get a better understanding of the developing situation and to consider a range of measures to make the bubble safer, such as the possible introduction of pre-departure testing for all flights from Australia to New Zealand,” the statement said.
The statement said anyone who was in Australia from June 21 and was now in New Zealand should monitor their symptoms and regularly check Australian exposure sites.
The Australian government’s Smartraveller website urged people who may be affected by the travel pause to contact their airline provider for the latest updates.
The NZ government had already decided to close the travel bubble to New South Wales until July 7.
The bubble only reopened to Melbourne residents on Tuesday, after being closed for a month.