Australia and New Zealand opened their much-awaited Trans-Tasman travel bubble on April 19, 2021 (read more here). However, Kiwis had already been welcomed to many Australian states but were required to quarantine upon return.
The bubble has already been temporarily suspended twice by New Zealand that briefly banned flights from Western Australia (Perth) and now from New South Wales (NSW) due to a small number of Covid-19 cases.
Here’s an excerpt from the TVNZ:
New Zealand is pausing the quarantine-free travel bubble with New South Wales from 11.59pm today for 48 hours, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins told media today.
Hipkins said officials in NSW had not yet been able to identify a chain of transmission between the Sydney community cases and a person in managed isolation, who has been linked to the cases.
He said they told him it was possible there was another person who could be infected and could be the link.
“We’ve weighed this up very carefully. We do need more information.”
Flights from NSW will be paused for 48 hours, coming into effect from 11.59pm tonight.
“We will keep that under constant review.”
He said if further information was gathered, the Government would be able to lift the restriction early, or extend it depending on the situation.
When the Trans-Tasman travel bubble was announced, it was made very clear that there could be pauses or temporary suspensions without any advance notice, and travelers should take this into account.
We are talking about two or three Covid-19 cases in Sydney with an unidentified person spreading the virus. Not exactly a massive outbreak.
These Travel Bubbles that require zero community transmission are problematic because it is practically impossible for the virus not to spread. There are always asymptomatic carriers that are difficult to identify.