Two new Auckland Covid-19 cases could hold up resumption of quarantine-free travel bubble with Australia

Source: 1News

Australia's federal government is waiting on more information from the Ministry of Health about the two people who left managed isolation at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland before reinstating the quarantine-free travel bubble with New Zealand. 

The new cases, who had previously completed their managed isolation at the same MIQ facility as the Northland case, are now being treated as confirmed Covid-19 infections. 

This comes as the deadline to Australia's 72 hour pause on travel bubble arrangements is due to come to an end later today. 

Australia's Acting Chief of Health Officer Michael Kidd said more information about the new cases is needed before a decision on travel arrangements would be made. 

"The situation is evolving rapidly," he told reporters in Canberra yesterday. 

"We will be following up details of both of these cases with the New Zealand authorities once further details including the results of additional testing are known." 

Genome sequencing results from the two cases are expected to be shared by the Ministry of Health today while serology results are expected tomorrow. 

Initial indications from the Ministry indicate the pair contracted the virus towards the end of their stay at the managed isolation facility, having previously returned negative results during their stay. 

As investigations into the cases continue, authorities can't rule out them out as being classified as historical infections, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said in a statement yesterday.