Pause on NSW travel bubble extended

New Zealand has extended the halt on the travel bubble with Covid-plagued New South Wales for another 12 days.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said there were now 36 virus cases in the Australian state, including four not yet linked to the existing outbreak.

"This decision follows a further public health assessment today in which officials consider a range of factors – whether any new cases are identified, the results from Covid-19 testing of any contacts identified and from the wider Sydney community."

Hipkins said the Government strongly believed in a "cautious approach" to the travel bubble.

That meant travel to New South Wales will now be paused until at least July 6 and can be extended longer if needed.

Health and Government officials will review the bubble halt next week to determine if it is possible to decide on a date for its resumption.

The Government announced an initial pause that took effect from 11.59pm on Tuesday and was scheduled to last for 72 hours.

Meanwhile, the Covid scare in Wellington has prompted the Cook Islands to tell people who visited the city's locations of interest they cannot fly into the country.

Cook Islands Tourism Corporation Australasia general manager Graeme West said tonight: "Anyone who visited a place of interest in the Wellington region is asked not to fly to Rarotonga until they have completed their isolation and testing in Wellington."

However, other travellers from the capital could continue to enter Rarotonga as usual.

With the Wellington situation still evolving, West said the Cooks Government was contacting and requiring travellers from Wellington already in the Islands to get tested and isolate until they received a negative result.

"It only takes four-six hours to receive the test result and of the 114 Wellington-originating arrivals since the 18 June, 106 have returned negative tests and are enjoying their holidays," he said.

"The remaining six are being followed up."

There are nearly 20 locations of interest in Wellington including Te Papa and several bars and restaurants.

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