NZ holds Victoria travel suspension

NZ holds Victoria travel suspension

The New Zealand government has cited the 15,000 close contacts of COVID-19 as it extends a ban on Victorians using quarantine-free travel.

COVID-19 Minister Chris Hipkins said New Zealand's pause to “green zone” travel from Melbourne will continue until Thursday June 17.

However, New Zealand has begun allowing stranded Kiwis – those who were visiting the state when the lockdown hit – to Aotearoa.

Jacinda Ardern's government has issued an exemption for NZ citizens and regular residents to travel home, deeming their fortnight spent in lockdown to be equivalent to a fortnight spent in mandatory isolation.

The returning Kiwis must also produce a negative COVID-19 test result in the 72 hours before their flight.

Other wannabe trans-Tasman travellers and tourists from Melbourne must wait until the government lifts its ban, and restarts the bubble.

“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,” Mr Hipkins said.

“The government is taking a precautionary approach in continuing the pause, which will be reviewed again next Wednesday.”

Mr Hipkins said there were still three cases among the outbreak without an epidemiological link to overseas cases, and more than 15,000 close contacts identified that may be at risk.

Anyone that has visited a location of interest in Australia is also ineligible to travel to New Zealand within 14 days of the potential exposure event.

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