Air Travel Bubble halts as Victoria goes into lockdown

Chris Hipkins and Dr Ashley Bloomfield speak at a news conference. Source: Getty Images

Quarantine-free movement from the state, which will go into lockdown tonight, will be suspended from 1:59 am (NZT) tomorrow, according to Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins.

The pause will last at least four days, after which it will be examined again on Monday.

"As with previous pauses, we acknowledge the frustration and inconvenience that comes with any interruption to trans-Tasman travel, but given the ongoing level of uncertainty around transmission in Melbourne, this is the right action to take," Hipkins said.

"It is also in keeping with our consistently cautious approach to prevent Covid-19 entering the New Zealand community."

The news comes as Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced that the state would go into a five-day lockdown starting at 11:59 p.m. tonight.

This is the eighth time Melbourne citizens have been subjected to these limitations.

According to Hipkins, anyone who was in Victoria after 1.59 a.m. tomorrow will be unable to go to New Zealand from any Australian state until further notice.

On July 5, the bubble reopened after being blocked for 11 days when New Zealand cut off the bubble from the rest of Australia on June 26.

Quarantine-free travel with NSW has also been halted, with only a few MIQ places available for a 14-day stay for persons attempting to return to New Zealand.

It comes as Victoria attempts to contain an outbreak related to New South Wales, following a 'stranger-to-stranger' transmission at a stadium.

New South Wales furniture movers were linked to a guy who watched an AFL match at the MCG stadium over the weekend.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, he later tested positive for Covid, as did two others sat nearby.

When a man-made touch with a family member who had returned from NSW, there was also a chain of transmission.

In the 24 hours leading up to this morning, the two new instances were added to a total of ten community cases, according to the Associated Press. There were 75 points of interest at the time, with 1500 primary and 5000 secondary close relationships isolating them.

According to 1 NEWS Australia journalist Andrew Macfarlane, the trans-Tasman bubble has been partially or entirely halted for 62 out of 87 days, or around 71%, since it began on April 19.

Publish : 2021-07-15 12:55:00

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