Coronavirus: New South Wales Premier labels New Zealand travel pause an 'overreaction'

The Premier of New South Wales has taken issue with New Zealand pausing its travel bubble with the Australian state following the discovery of two community cases.

Earlier this week, a man in his 50s tested positive in NSW - the state's first community case in more than a month. His wife tested positive on Thursday, and there have also been traces of the virus in Sydney's sewage system. There are a large number of locations of interest in Sydney tied to the cases.

Genome sequencing has linked the case to a returnee to Australia from the United States, but no epidemiological link - meaning how the infected person actually contracted the virus - has yet been found. 

In response to the situation, New Zealand on Thursday night paused the travel bubble from NSW to New Zealand - describing the move as a "cautious approach" - while investigations continue and officials await further testing.

But NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has labelled the pause an "overreaction". She said she respects Jacinda Ardern and New Zealand could do as it wishes, but she doesn't believe it's the right approach.

"If that is what she wants to do, that's what she does. But I certainly think the response should also be proportionate to the risk," Berejiklian said.

"Whilst we have had cases in the community, whilst we don't know where the links are, you can take measures to stop a super-spreading event, which is what we have done."

The state is advising locals to wear a mask at indoor events and keep gatherings at homes to 20 people, especially on Mother's Day this weekend.

Her comments came ahead of confirmation by NSW Health on Friday that no new local cases of COVID-19 were acquired in the 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday night (local time). During that period, five cases acquired overseas were recorded. 

When New Zealand began the two-way travel bubble with Australia last month, it revealed a traffic-light system that says travel may be paused if a case emerges with an unknown source, but which is likely linked to the border.

Anyone who is now in New Zealand who was at one of the locations of interest in Sydney at the relevant time has been told to isolate and call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice on getting tested for COVID-19.

Meanwhile anyone in Australia who has been at one of the locations is subject to the requirements of the NSW Government, and should not travel to New Zealand.

Information about locations of interest visited by the cases is available on the New South Wales health website.