Australia’s Health Minister Greg Hunt has announced Australia will suspend its one-way travel bubble with New Zealand for at least 72 hours out of an “abundance of caution”.
The changes are coming into effect immediately.
Any passengers from New Zealand with a green card flight scheduled within the next 72 hours will need to rethink their need to travel.
Anyone who has arrived in Australia from New Zealand on or since January 14 is asked to isolate and get tested. They should isolate until they get a negative test result.
Hunt has apologised to anyone inconvenienced — but he says this has been taken on the basis of strong, clear, immediate medical advice from health authorities.
“In brief, the Australian Government has received advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee of a significant case of concern in New Zealand regarding the South African variant,” Hunt said.
There is a “possibility that that may lead to a transmission event,” Hunt continued, “and out of an abundance of caution, the AHPPC has recommended to the government … that there should be a suspension.”
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had informed her about the move. “I was advised late this afternoon of Australia’s decision by the Prime Minister. I advised him that we have confidence in our systems and processes, but it is Australia’s decision as to how they manage their borders.”
Additional reporting: News Corp Australia
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