New Zealand will restart the trans-Tasman bubble next week to states not engulfed in a resurgence of Covid cases.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern shut down travel between Australia and NZ on Saturday night after earlier suspending it for NSW.
From Monday, travellers from Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and the ACT will be welcomed back into New Zealand.
However, Australian travellers will have to produce a negative Covid-19 test before they are allowed to fly.
From Monday, travellers from Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and the ACT will be welcomed back into New Zealand (pictured family and friends reunite after the travel bubble between NZ and Australia began in April)
Australia’s four other jurisdictions – NSW, the Northern Territory, Queensland, and Western Australia – won’t see a return of quarantine-free travel until their Covid-19 situations improve.
All four of those places have ordered their capital cities into lockdown after reporting multiple community cases in the past week.
The door will be closed to NSW travellers until at least July 7.
Covid-19 Minister Chris Hipkins said Victoria, Tasmania, SA and ACT already fulfilled the ‘green zone’ requirements that would allow for the return of quarantine-free travel.
However, Ms Ardern said cabinet decided to defer openings until Monday to introduce the new pre-departure testing requirement.
‘We see that as key to maintaining the confidence of New Zealanders in the bubble and ensuring that at periods of uncertainty across states, it gives us that extra layer of protection,’ she said.
‘That extra bit of time does allow us to get a better sense of what’s happening across Australia.’
Details on how to fulfil the pre-departure test requirements are available on New Zealand’s Covid-19 website.
The Ardern government slapped the whole-of-country suspension on quarantine-free travel last Saturday night.
The Ardern government slapped the whole-of-country suspension on quarantine-free travel last Saturday night (pictured family and friends reunite after the travel bubble between NZ and Australia began in April)
That move – the first since the opening of the bubble on April 21 – came in response to fears of spread from the NT gold mine case.
The original miner travelled to Bli Bli from Dundee Forest, southwest of Darwin, where she is employed at the infected Granites gold mine.
Almost 800 miners are currently in lockdown and another 900 are isolating across Australia after an outbreak in the camp.
The woman claims she flew from the mine to Darwin on Friday June 25, and boarded a second flight directly to Brisbane.
The infected woman said she didn’t mix within the community and had always worn a mask while travelling.
The Northern Territory recorded two more coronavirus cases on Tuesday after an infected person attended a Zumba class and left a trail of sites throughout Palmerston.
About 900 fly-in-fly-out workers had already travelled home to cities across Australia before the worker at the Granites gold mine near Alice Springs was told he had coronavirus
Queensland went into a snap lockdown on Tuesday after recording a further two community cases (pictured woman in Queensland)
The new cases bring the total number of active cases in the NT to 10, with six active local cases, three acquired overseas and one acquired interstate.
The 25 people who were at a Zumba class in the Rex Centre in Palmerston on Saturday morning have now been ordered to get tested and go into isolation for the next 14 days regardless of their test result.
Queensland went into a snap lockdown on Tuesday after recording a further two community cases, including an unvaccinated hospital receptionist who travelled from Brisbane to Townsville and Magnetic Island while infectious and symptomatic.
The lockdown will last for at least three days from 6pm Tuesday, but restrictions will remain in place for the next two weeks.
Meanwhile NSW recorded 19 new infections as Greater Sydney enters its third day of a two week lockdown.
Mr Hipkins said any new cases could change the decision.
‘We know how important the bubble is, in particular for families and businesses. But we also want to avoid a situation where we are having to respond to a case here in New Zealand,’ he said.
Ms Ardern’s cabinet also decided to remove restrictions on Wellington, which was at risk of community transmission after a Sydney traveller with COVID-19 visited.
Since that visit, wastewater testing and more than 2500 personal tests have failed to show up any spread of the virus.
Wellington will return to level one settings from Wednesday.
Meanwhile NSW recorded 19 new infections as Greater Sydney enters its third day of a two week lockdown (Sydneysiders queue outside a testing clinic)