Coronavirus: Travel pause with Victoria extended until Tuesday night

Coronavirus: Travel pause with Victoria extended until Tuesday night
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The quarantine-free travel pause with Victoria will lift on Tuesday night at 11:59pm, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says.

It was scheduled to lift on Thursday night.

"It has been determined that the risk to public health in New Zealand continues to decrease and, at this time, public health officials consider it unlikely there is further widespread community transmission in the state," Hipkins said on Thursday morning. "However, in line with our precautionary approach we consider this short extension to be prudent."

"There are now 100 cases associated with the outbreak in the greater Melbourne area, spread across all clusters. The most recent report of a case being infectious in the community was June 8, until the case announced this week of a nurse who may have worked a hospital shift while infectious."

He said officials are keeping a close eye on the state, but expect the short extension will be enough to limit risk. If the situation in Victoria changes, it will be reviewed.

"We acknowledge the pause in Quarantine Free Travel continues to inconvenience those who have had their travel plans disrupted.

"Everyone who is eligible can already return on 'green flights', meaning they are not be required to isolate when they arrive home. However, they must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three-days of departure. A PCR test is required."

Hipkins also confirmed officials in New Zealand are reviewing details of the two cases which have emerged in the community in Sydney. However, Hipkins said they appear to have a close link to the border.

"It is expected that further information will be provided on the NSW cases later today.

"Anyone in New Zealand who visited a location of interest at the specified time in Victoria, New South Wales or Queensland is unable to travel and remains covered by a Section 70 notice, which has been issued under the Health Act."