NZ Extends Travel Bubble Suspension With Aus State

Wellington: New Zealand on Friday extended the suspension of its quarantine-free travel with Australia’s Victoria state until June 4 after recent reports in Melbourne of a growing number of Covid-19 cases.

According to New Zealand’s Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins, the travel bubble pause will last until 7.59 p.m. on June 4, Xinhua news agency reported.

The decision was based on the public health risk assessment to further protect New Zealanders, said the Minister.

Hipkins said New Zealand’s public health staff remained in close contact with Victorian authorities about the actions being taken in Melbourne, capital of the Australian state, to control the Covid-19 situation there.

New Zealand’s quarantine-free travel with Victoria was initially suspended on Tuesday for 72 hours.

Australia’s Victoria state has imposed a seven-day lockdown from Thursday with local residents required to stay home following reports of more confirmed locally transmitted cases of Covid-19, increasing exposure sites and a large and growing number of close contacts.

New Zealand’s Ministry of Health has previously contacted everyone returned from Melbourne since May 11 and provided advice on checking locations of interest and the actions required in response, according to Hipkins.

Anyone who has visited the Greater Melbourne area since May 20 and come back to New Zealand is required to isolate at their places of residence until they receive a negative Covid test result, he said.

(IANS)