NZ pauses travel bubble with NSW

NZ pauses travel bubble with NSW

NZ Parliament. Photo: WCC - Charles Collins, 2015.

The recent rise in community cases of COVID-19 from eastern Sydney's 'Bondi cluster' led the New Zealand Government to put the travel bubble with all of NSW on hold last night, starting at 11:59pm NZT last night with an initial 72-hour period.

The move coincided with New Zealand's planned reopening at the same time of the Trans-Tasman travel with Victoria, coming after NSW's total community cases reached 21 in the previous 24 hours to 22 June.

"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," New Zealand's COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said yesterday.

"The Government is taking a precautionary approach and will review the decision to pause again on Thursday.

"Anyone who has only been in Norfolk Island and not in NSW is still eligible for Quarantine Free Travel."

Anyone in New Zealand who recently visited Sydney's Westfield Bondi Junction mall at any time between 12 June and 18 June should contact Healthline on 0800 358 5453, get tested and stay at home until they get a negative test result, or remain isolated if instructed.

"Anyone who was at a location of interest at the specified times also cannot travel to New Zealand within 14 days of the exposure event," Minister Hipkins said.

"This is also a reminder that anyone with symptoms, not just recent travellers, should get tested for COVID-19.

"New Zealand public health officials are regularly reviewing developments in the Australian State and advice will be updated, if and when required."

NSW Health has also announced more COVID-19 exposure sites tonight, while the wearing of masks is now mandatory in public indoor spaces in Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour.

More details of public health alerts for venues and flights of concern can be found here and here, including Qantas flight QF163 from Sydney to Wellington on 19 June, Air New Zealand flight NZ247 from Wellington to Sydney on 21 June, Totti's Bondi, the Royal Bondi, Woolworths Spring Farm, Wallabies Thai Restaurant in Mascot, Chanel fragrance and beauty at Westfield Bondi, ANZ 20 Martin Place in the Sydney CBD, Starbucks at Westfield Bondi, and the Mascot Central Shopping Precinct.

NSW Health was also notified yesterday afternoon that fragments of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been detected in the Brooklyn Sewage Treatment Plant and the Lough Park Sewage Network Investigation Site.

This is the second detection in the Brooklyn catchment, which includes 1,000 people from the suburbs of Dangar Island, Cowan, Brooklyn, Mooney Mooney and Cheerio Point.

The Lough Park catchment includes about 21,500 people and takes sewage from the following suburbs: Clovelly, Waverley, Randwick, Centennial Park, Queens Park, Bondi, Bondi Junction, Bellevue Hill, Double Bay, Woollahra.

"NSW Health is asking everyone in these areas to be especially vigilant in monitoring for symptoms, and if they appear get tested and isolate immediately until a negative result is received," the health authority stated.

"Anyone with even the mildest of cold-like symptoms is urged to immediately come forward for testing and isolate until a negative result is received."

Originally published at 8:10pm AEST on 22 June 2021, updated at 10am AEST on 23 June.



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