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Covid 19 coronavirus: Australia extends quarantine flights from New Zealand




Australia has continued the pause of New Zealand green zone flights. Photo / Folder

Australia has extended its pause in quarantine flights from New Zealand, despite the announcement by New Zealand health authorities on Wednesday afternoon that the country will move below alert levels.

It initially banned green zone flights on February 15 after three cases of the Covid-19 community were found in Auckland.

The transtasman bubble allows people to fly from New Zealand to Australia without having to spend 14 days in a hotel.

Australian Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly announced late Wednesday evening that the break will be extended for another 72 hours.

This means that anyone flying to Australia from New Zealand will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival until at least 12.01 a.m. (AEDT) on 21 February.

“We appreciate that New Zealand is continuing its investigation,” he said.

“However, there remains a concern that the source of the infection in the community remains unknown; these cases have not traveled internationally nor have they been in quarantine facilities.”

Australia suspended the single bubble of a quarantine trip Sunday to New Zealand following the discovery of new community cases in Auckland.

She did the same on January 25 when the South African variant Covid-19 was identified in the Northland community case.

He then extended the break on January 28 before removing it on January 31.

At this last break, Kelly said he and the Australian Health Protection Committee (AHPPC) would provide revised guidance every 24 hours once further test results become available in New Zealand.

“Three new cases were tested positive on February 16, 2021[in New Zealand] bringing the total number of cases in the group to six, “Kelly said.

“Time is needed to complete the testing of the first three cases and to track the contacts of the three new cases to determine if there is any spread in the community and the potential risk from people traveling without quarantine to Australia.

“A further 72-hour break provides the time needed to confirm that this group remains restrained.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that New Zealand would shift an alarm level.

Overnight Auckland moved to level 2 and the rest of the country to level 1.

Chief Health Officer Ashley Bloomfield said it was reassuring that recent Auckland community cases were linked and identified through contact tracking.

He said “we should be encouraged” that all cases have clear epidemiological links.

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