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Quarantine-Free Travel Between New Zealand and New South Wales Has Reopened

Flights resumed following no locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in NSW over the weekend.
By Ben Hansen and Sarah Ward
May 10, 2021
By Ben Hansen and Sarah Ward
May 10, 2021

Those planning a trip across the Tasman can rejoice today as the quarantine-free travel bubble between New South Wales and New Zealand has reopened. Flights between NSW and NZ were given permission to resume from 11.59pm (AEST) on Sunday, May 9 following a two-day pause. The temporary travel ban was in response to two new cases of COVID-19 identified in Sydney last week.

While the travel bubble has reopened, anyone who visited a COVID-19 exposure site during specified times must not travel to New Zealand within 14 days from attending the location of concern. As more exposure sites are continually revealed, anyone who does enter New Zealand who has been to a location of concern in the previous 14 days, will have to immediately self-isolate and call the New Zealand Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice on self-isolating and getting tested.

"I am pleased with the way the response process has been managed this week," COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hopkins said. "It has been determined that the risk to public health in New Zealand remains low."

When New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the two-way trans-Tasman bubble back in April, she noted that it could and would be paused if and when outbreaks occur. This latest pause in quarantine-free travel is the second of its kind since the bubble opened, after NZ suspended flights from Western Australia at the beginning of May in response to Perth's recent cases. Flights between NZ and WA were given the all-clear to resume just a day later.

While no new cases of locally acquired COVID-19 have been reported in NSW in the past 48 hours, the state's restrictions on dancing, masks and gatherings have been extended until Monday, May 17 as health officials continue to search for the 'missing link' between an overseas traveller and the locally acquired cases. Under the current restrictions, a 20-person cap is in place for gatherings in homes in Greater Sydney; drinking while standing up, singing and dancing are no longer allowed at pubs, clubs and restaurants; and masks must be warn in some indoor public locations.

To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in NSW, head to the NSW Health website.

Published on May 10, 2021 by Ben Hansen

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