Australia Covid in New Zealand could put Australia travel bubble at risk
Australia and New Zealand to sign off on quarantine-free travel bubble
The trans-Tasman travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand could reopen within a week as both countries continue to enjoy low coronavirus cases. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is set to announce the start date of the bubble today, which will allow travellers to fly without needing to quarantine.The first flights are expected to start on April 12 or April 19, according to federal government and industry sources who spoke to The Australian.Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry tourism chief John Hart told the publication 'the 19th was pretty much definite'.
A new Covid case has been found in New Zealand, just days after the announcement that Australians would soon be able to travel across the ditch without quarantine.
The Auckland man had complained of a sore throat four days ago but continued to work over Easter at the Grand Millennium Hotel before getting tested.
He has a quarantine facility in Jet Park. No locations of potential infection have been released yet and the man lives alone.
NZ Director of Health Ashley Bloomfield believe the case is linked to arrivals to the country from India, which has seen 17 positive cases in isolation.
Australia and New Zealand agree quarantine-free travel bubble
New Zealand and Australia, which have closed borders to the rest of the world in efforts to eradicate Covid-19, will also allow people to travel from one country to the other without Covid tests.The neighbouring nations, which have closed borders to the rest of the world in efforts to eradicate Covid-19, will allow people to travel from one country to the other without mandatory coronavirus testing or forced quarantine.
'Our managed isolation facilities have a whole range of measures in place to reduce the risk for workers,' he said.
'I'm confident that our procedures are very good.'
Dr Bloomfield says they are currently testing the man's colleagues at the hotel and anyone who has been in contact with him are being told to isolate until their tests are returned.
The case has thrown the recently announced travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand into severe doubt.
The man returned high CT values, which means the case is either at the beginning or end of its infection.
NZ travel bubble joy: 'We have absolutely missed you'
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden says the country has "absolutely missed" Australia after the coronavirus pandemic led to borders being shut for more than a year. © Getty New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Ms Ardern appeared on Today this morning and said she was looking forward to welcoming back Aussies from April 19. The quarantine-free trans-Tasman travel bubble, between Australian and New Zealand, is slated to start from 11.59pm on Sunday, April 18."I can't believe I'm saying this, but we have absolutely missed you," she said.
A repeat test is currently awaiting results so health officials can do more analysis on the case.
Dr Bloomfield says an Emirates flight that arrived in Auckland from India via Dubai has been the focus of investigation after concerns with the accuracy of testing and validity of documents.
He says there's no plans to stop the route yet as it is the only way home for many Kiwis living abroad.
There are currently 23 other new cases in the country, all of which are in isolation and 17 of which originate from India.
India recorded 117,000 new cases of coronavirus on April 6 as the country continues to see a worrying and exponential increase in infections.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Tuesday she would welcome Australian travellers without the need for quarantine from April 19.
Flight prices drop as Ardern announces start of Australia-NZ travel bubble from April 18
Qantas and Air New Zealand have increased cross-Tasman flights and dropped prices but Ardern warns outbreaks could leave travellers stranded: "Flyer beware."From 11.59pm April 18 Wellington time (9.59pm AEST), Australians will be able to fly into New Zealand with no quarantine for the first time in more than a year, NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Tuesday.
Australians heading to New Zealand will be kept separate from other international arrivals who are still required to go into mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days.
Ms Ardern has said there will be no vaccine requirement when travelling in the trans-Tasman bubble, but strict Covid protocols will still be carried out.
Passengers will be required to undergo random temperature checks, wear facemasks during the flight and must download New Zealand's Covid Tracer app.
All travellers on board a 'green zone flight' must also have been in Australia for at least 14 days before departure.
The recent coronavirus outbreak in Auckland could see those plans scrapped however, with the government set to make an announcement on the new case with potential restrictions to be added.
Ms Ardern said despite her government's tardiness in opening up, New Zealanders had 'absolutely missed' Australia over the pandemic.
'I can't believe I'm saying this, but we have absolutely missed you,' she said on the Today Show on Wednesday morning.
'We want you to come and see us again. Distance makes the heart grow fonder, that's definitely the case for us here.
'You won't find a Kiwi that won't have a story of someone in Australia that they have missed and they really want to welcome back.'
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