Transtasman bubble pause extended, states on alert

New Zealand's total number of confirmed cases is now 1620. Photo: Getty Images
There is one new case of Covid-19 in this country in managed isolation to report today and none in the community. Photo: Getty Images
The New Zealand Government has extended the pause on the transtasman bubble with the Australian state of Victoria for a further seven days.

"While the overall risk to New Zealand is low, today's advice from New Zealand public health officials is that the travel pause should continue," Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today.

"The Government is taking a precautionary approach in continuing the pause, which will be reviewed again next Wednesday."

There are now 93 cases associated with the outbreak in greater Melbourne, spread over four clusters. Contact tracing has identified more than 15,000 close contacts.

The cases in the greater Melbourne outbreak are genomically linked to cases arriving from overseas, but at least three cases are unclear in how they caught the virus.

New Zealand citizens, permanent residents, people with humanitarian exemptions and critical workers will still be able to take green zone flights to New Zealand from Melbourne - but will need a negative pre-departure test within three days of departure.

They will not need to isolate or be tested once they land in New Zealand.

NSW AND QUEENSLAND ON ALERT 

Two Australian states are on Covid-19 alert after an infected woman and her husband travelled from Victoria, the epicentre of country's latest outbreak, through the states of New South Wales and into Queensland, visiting dozens of sites enroute

A fresh warning was today issued for Kiwi travellers to these states after the couple breached the city's lockdown.

Authorities in New South Wales and Queensland are rushing to trace close contacts and locate virus hotspots. The couple may face criminal charges for breaching Covid-19 border restrictions.

The 44-year-old woman tested positive for Covid-19 once in Queensland, authorities said late on Wednesday, and her husband has since tested positive.

However, Chris Hipkins said quarantine-free travel for Queensland and NSW would continue, because the risk from two new positive cases in Queensland has been deemed to be low.

Anyone who was in the New South Wales towns of Dubbo, Forbes, Gillenbah or Moree between June 1 and 5, or in Queensland in Toowoomba, Caloundra, Buddina and Baringa between June 5 and 8 should check the Queensland and New South Wales state health websites to determine whether they were at any locations of interest.

Anyone at the locations at the specified times should call Healthline on 0800 358 5453, get tested and self-isolate until they return a negative result.

They also cannot not travel to New Zealand within 14 days of the exposure.

ONE NEW CASE IN MIQ

There is one new case of Covid-19 in New Zealand in managed isolation to report today and none in the community.

Today's new case travelled via Singapore and was detected on day 3 testing.

There were two new cases of Covid yesterday and one person with coronavirus is being treated at Middlemore Hospital after being transferred from the Jet Park Hotel MIQ facility overnight on Monday.

MELBOURNE TRIO

Three people from Melbourne are in managed isolation at their own expense after misleading officials about where they were travelling from.

The group travelled from Australia to New Zealand via Sydney and failed to declare that they had initially come from Melbourne, Victoria.

It is understood they planned to attend a funeral while in New Zealand.

New Zealand's director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said yesterday that relevant border agencies would review processes, even though it appeared this was the result of "disappointing actions" from the three people concerned.

They trio tested negative for Covid-19 and their three-day test is due today. It is unclear at this stage whether they will face any charges in either New Zealand or Australia after breaching both countries' rules.

- NZ Herald and Reuters 

Comments

OMG. Arrivals from Melbourne not required to isolate? At all? I feel the urge to go stock up on toilet paper.

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