NZ pauses quarantine-free travel from South Australia

Source: 1News

The Government has made the decision to pause the quarantine-free travel bubble for travellers from South Australia from 11.59pm tonight after the state went into a seven-day lockdown this evening.

People wear protective face masks as they walk along King William Street in Adelaide, Australia.

The news was announced in a press release from Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins this evening.

“The pause will run for seven days, to July 27, to coincide with the timing of the lockdown and will be reviewed on that day," Hipkins says.

It comes as South Australia's Covid-19 cluster currently sits at five.

There are concerns the case numbers could rise after the newest case - a man in his 60s - went to a function at a restaurant on Saturday night before testing positive, the ABC reports.

South Australian joins NSW and Victoria as states which have had quarantine-free travel to New Zealand paused.

The next flight that was scheduled to leave for New Zealand from Adelaide is an Air New Zealand flight tomorrow afternoon.

People currently in the state who ordinarily live in New Zealand will be able to return on “managed return” flights starting with the next available flight and are encouraged to do so, Hipkins said.

A negative pre-departure test taken within 72 hours of flying will be required for eligible passengers. They will also need to complete a health declaration confirming they have not been at a location of interest and the Nau Mai Rā travel declaration.

A stay in MIQ will not be required.

“The decision is based on public health advice from New Zealand officials and follows South Australia’s announcement this afternoon that it would go into lockdown for seven days from 6pm tonight," Hipkins said.

While Hipkins says the decision to pause the bubble "will be disruptive for travellers and organisations", the Government is "confident it is the right approach" due to the "current uncertainty" and the Government's employing a "consistently cautious approach to prevent Covid-19 from entering the New Zealand community". 

“The pause means people cannot travel to New Zealand from South Australia after 6pm tonight for the duration of the pause unless they are normally resident here and wish to return," he said.

“We encourage people in this category to consider the option that is available to them over the next seven days.”