Australian border closed to New Zealand after one COVID-19 case detected in Auckland

Australian border closed to New Zealand after one COVID-19 case detected in Auckland

Effective immediately, Australia has suspended 'Green Zone' travel arrangements with New Zealand after one new case of COVID-19 was detected in Auckland.

The border closure will be effective for a minimum of 72 hours, meaning all travellers from NZ will have to go into hotel quarantine for 14-days on arrival.

The decision was made today by Australian health officials, with Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt declaring it was done "out of an abundance of caution".

Until today, New Zealanders have been permitted to enter most Australian states and territories without needing to complete 14-days of hotel quarantine because of low case numbers on the neighbouring island nation.

However, NZ Health officials found a positive case in Auckland yesterday - a person who had developed symptoms of COVID-19 just days after leaving hotel quarantine.

Officials confirmed this person has been infected with the South African variant of COVID-19 - a more transmissible version of the novel coronavirus.

Hunt has apologised to those who may be inconvenienced by the sharp decision, noting two flights were due to land in Australia from NZ this afternoon.

"This is being taken on the basis of strong, clear, immediate medical advice from the AHPPC, immediately considered in the cabinet arrangements, and accepted by the Prime Minister," Hunt said.

Updated at 5.02pm AEDT on 25 January 2021.

 

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