Australia reopens borders to New Zealand after nearly week-long pause

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sun, 31 Jan 2021, 3:56PM
(Photo / File)
(Photo / File)

Australia reopens borders to New Zealand after nearly week-long pause

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sun, 31 Jan 2021, 3:56PM

Australia has resumed its one-way quarantine-free travel arrangements with New Zealand.

Australia's acting chief medical officer Professor Michael Kidd said in a press conference today that a suspension of green-zone flights actioned on January 25 and extended on January 28 into Australia was lifted.

"Green zone flights from New Zealand into Australia are now judged to be sufficiently low risk given New Zealand's strong public health response to Covid-19," he said.

Sky News reported that the arrangement would commence at 2pm Australia time today after the pause was not extended.

Australian health authorities suspended the bubble arrangement on January 25 for 72 hours out of an "abundance of caution" following the discovery of the South African Covid-19 variant in the community case.

The suspension was extended for another 72 hours on January 28, which was due to expire at 4pm today NZT.

It comes as New Zealand's Ministry of Health reported one new case of Covid-19 in managed isolation today - and the fourth day in a row of no new community cases.

Australia's acting chief medical officer Professor Michael Kidd announced on January 28 that the green card flight suspension was extended for another 72 hours following revelations that two more people who recently completed managed isolation at Auckland's Pullman Hotel tested positive for Covid-19.

At the time, he said the move would allow the "continuing protection of the people of Australia while the extent of the situation in New Zealand is clarified".

The changes meant that arrivals into New Zealand had to enter 14-day quarantine.