New Zealand SLAMS the border shut with NSW as trans-Tasman bubble is put on hold – dashing holiday plans for thousands and giving Kiwis just three hours to get home
New Zealand’s COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins put the breaks on hotel quarantine-free travel after NSW recorded 10 new locally-acquired infections on Tuesday, bringing Sydney’s Bondi cluster to 21 active cases.
He said the decision was made because there are still ‘several unknowns’ about the growing outbreak.
New Zealand has slammed its border shut to New South Wales , giving Kiwis just three hours to get back home before restrictions come into place
NZ’s COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins put the breaks on the hotel quarantine-free travel after NSW recorded 10 new locally-acquired cases of Covid on Tuesday, bringing Sydney’s Bondi cluster to 21 active infections
‘The pause will come into force from 11.59pm NZT and be in place for 72 hours initially,’ Hipkins said in a statement.
‘As with previous pauses, it will be under constant review.
‘This decision follows a public health assessment today which determined that while the overall risk to public health in New Zealand currently remains low, there are still several unknowns, including a case that was infectious while in the Sydney community and a primary school age child with no clear link established at present.’
Kiwi health authorities also urging anyone in New Zealand that has been to Westfield’s Bondi Junction -including the car park – between June 12-18 to immediately get tested and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.
The New Zealand government on Thursday will revaluate the decision.
The tough news for NSW holidaymakers comes on the same day New Zealand is set to reinstate quarantine-free travel with Victoria, after the state experienced it’s fourth lockdown since the pandemic began.
Cars line up for Covid-19 testing at Bondi in Sydney, Tuesday, June 22, 2021
A medical worker prepares a member of the public for a test at the Bondi Beach drive-thru Covid testing centre
The travel bubble between Victoria and the land of the long white cloud is set to re-established at 11.59pm on Tuesday.
Of the new infections announced in NSW today, one of them remains a mystery.
A student at Saint Charles’ Primary School in Waverley, Sydney’s east, returned a positive result but contact tracers are still scrambling to find out where she may have contracted the virus.
The current outbreak hitting Sydney is particularly hard to trace because it is the highly infectious Delta variant which originated in India.
NSW Health Minister called the strain a ‘near and present danger’ given the risk of fleeting contact – where a person can contract the virus simply by walking past a positive case or by being near for a brief moment.
There has been close liaison between the health agencies of NSW and New Zealand. Pictured: NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (left) and NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (right)
Since Australian and New Zealand trans-Tasman travel bubble came into effect on April 19, there have been numerous occasions where it has been halted due to outbreaks.
New Zealand have pulled up the draw bridge to Western Australia and Victoria on one occasion and slammed the door shut on NSW twice.
At the time of the announcement New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warned that the rules could be subject to rapid change if an outbreak occurs in either country.
‘Those undertaking travel on either side of the ditch will do so under the guidance of flyer beware,’ Ms Ardern said.
‘People will need to plan for the possibility of travel being disrupted if there is an outbreak.’