New Zealand has just announced the immediate pause to the trans-Tasman COVID-19 travel bubble with Australia, bringing this to a burst just shortly after it was started.
The NZ government has announced it will pause the travel bubble between all Australian states and territories for three days beginning from 8:30PM AEST on Saturday.
While this is (at least for now) just a three day break following an earlier block on all flights from New South Wales it could very well be that the measure will be extended well beyond.
As ABC News reports the stop on the bubble goes into effect immediately at 8:30pm AEST.
The New Zealand government has announced it will pause the travel bubble between all Australian states and territories for three days beginning from 8:30PM AEST on Saturday.
It said the decision followed updated public health advice regarding multiple cases and outbreaks across Australia in differing stages of containment.
The travel bubble will remain paused until 10:00pm Tuesday AEST.
NZ’s COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said the pause was necessary due to the growing number of cases being reported across Australia.
“I acknowledge the frustration and inconvenience that comes with this pause, but given the high level of transmissibility of what appears to be the Delta variant, and the fact that there are now multiple community clusters, it is the right thing to do to keep COVID-19 out of New Zealand,” Mr Hipkins said.
In a statement, the NZ government said it would continue to monitor the situation closely and the decision would be reviewed on Monday.
“This short pause will give us time to get a better understanding of the developing situation and to consider a range of measures to make the bubble safer, such as the possible introduction of pre-departure testing for all flights from Australia to New Zealand,” the statement said.
The statement said anyone who was in Australia from June 21 and was now in New Zealand should monitor their symptoms and regularly check Australian exposure sites. …
The NZ government had already decided to close the travel bubble to New South Wales until July 7.
The bubble only reopened to Melbourne residents on Tuesday, after being closed for a month.
These travel bubbles were an idea from the early days of the pandemic based on the assumption that travel between certain countries with limited to no covid spread could be facilitated on a channel-travel like basis.
What these countries do have in common however is a hypersensitivity about even the smallest number of Covid cases and that as soon as there is some sort of a cluster or small outbreak that makes the news these bilateral travel agreements are cancelled and traffic stopped.
With such uncertainty there is almost no way that travel will return to any level of normality. Not saying that the concerns are without merit as we’ve seen in the case of Thailand that went from excellent to and absolute cluster**** as far as the C-19 situation is concerned. This was largely based on corruption and disregard for procedure though. I think Australia and New Zealand would be able to handle their bubble better despite a few cases here and there.
The NZ/AUS travel bubble between New Zealand all Australian states and territories has been cancelled (paused) for at least three days, beginning from 8:30PM AEST on Saturday on the behest of the NZ government. The travel bubble will remain paused until (at least) 10:00pm Tuesday AEST however it’s very well possible that it won’t open up again on that day. There is very little of the situation that could make a complete 180 in terms of improvement.
Lets be hopeful that will be resolved soon and that Aussies and Kiwis and soon hop on the plane again to fly over.