New Zealand to reopen travel bubble with Victoria

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Wellington: Victoria’s trans-Tasman travel bubble will resume from midnight Tuesday after New Zealand’s Ministry of Health decided the remaining public health risk to be low.

In a statement, the ministry said the pause would be lifted at 11.59pm on Tuesday, and travellers would no longer be required to have a pre-departure test, or spend two weeks in quarantine on arrival.

New Zealand says it will reopen the travel bubble with Victoria.

New Zealand first paused the bubble in late May following Melbourne’s COVID-19 outbreak. Last week, the New Zealand government indicated the bubble would be resumed due to the decreasing risk to public health in New Zealand.

In the statement on Monday, the ministry said all travellers were encouraged to continue monitoring for symptoms and checking the Victorian Health website for any updated locations of interest.

“Those in New Zealand who have recently been in Victoria, New South Wales or Queensland are advised to get tested if they develop symptoms.”

Anyone in New Zealand who has been at any of the current locations of interest or newly identified locations of interest in Victoria, New South Wales or Queensland in the last 14 days at the specified times should continue to self-isolate and contact Healthline for advice on testing, the ministry said.

Individuals in Australia who were at any of the exposure sites in Victoria, New South Wales or Queensland at the specified times are asked to follow the health advice in the relevant state regarding isolation and testing. They must not travel to New Zealand within 14 days of exposure, the ministry said.

In the past week there have been no new cases in Victoria with the Delta variant of concern.

Victorian health officials have determined there is unlikely to be widespread community transmission. They continue to carry out about 15,000 tests a day and there has been no unexplained COVID-19 detected in wastewater samples.

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