Travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand has been suspended for at least TWO months as several states battle Covid outbreaks
- New Zealand has suspended its travel ties with Australia for at least two months
- Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has urged New Zealanders to return home
- Trans-Tasman bubble bursts at 11:59pm Friday, but managed flights will follow
- New Zealanders need a negative Covid test to re-enter the country
New Zealand has suspended travel ties with Australia for two months as several states are dealing with coronavirus outbreaks.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the decision on Friday after a cabinet meeting.
The trans-Tasman bubble bursts at 11:59pm, but there will be return flights for the next week to let New Zealanders go home.
Those outside of Victoria and NSW can return without quarantine.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the decision on Friday after a cabinet meeting
Everyone will have to pass a negative pre-departure test.
“My strong message to any New Zealander in Australia who doesn’t want to stay there right now is come home,” said Ms Ardern.
Australia is struggling with severe coronavirus outbreaks in NSW, Victoria and South Australia, with a local case also registered in Queensland.
More than 14 million people are in lockdown across the country.
The travel bubble started on April 19 and allowed Australians and New Zealanders to travel between the two countries without having to go into quarantine.
More than 300,000 people have taken advantage of the quarantine-free travel arrangements.
However, Ms Ardern said that the highly contagious Delta variant had materially changed the risk profile and that Covid-19 was now widespread in Australia.
“We’ve always said our response would evolve as the virus evolved,” she said.
New Zealand officials expect it will take eight weeks to get the NSW outbreak under control
“This is not a decision we have taken lightly, but it is the right decision to keep the New Zealanders safe.”
New Zealand officials expect it will take eight weeks to get the NSW outbreak under control.
The decision could affect the upcoming Bledisloe Cup testing between the All Blacks and Wallabies, with games on both sides of the ditch.
Ms Ardern said the Wallabies were able to use the seven-day window to travel to New Zealand for the tests after applying for an exemption for economic reasons.
“It has to be in the seven-day window, though, we don’t make exceptions outside of that. Everyone else must be quarantined.’