New Zealand pauses trans Tasman bubble to whole of Australia

Photo credit: L Beddoe/Shutterstock

New Zealand have announced that the trans Tasman bubble will be paused for three days from 10.30pm (NZ time) this evening.

The quarantine free travel bubble had already been paused for 12 days with New South Wales but will now be paused for all travel from Australia until 11.59pm on Tuesday June 29.

“There are now multiple cases and outbreaks in Australia in differing stages of containment and the health risk for New Zealand in response to these cases is increasing,” said a statement from Chris Hipkins, the Minister for Covid-19 Response in New Zealand.

New South Wales announced that residents in Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong would go into a two week lockdown from 6pm this evening to quell the contagious Delta Covid variant currently in Sydney.

However the trans Tasman bubble pause to all states is designed to allow officials on both sides of the Tasman to consider further safety measures.

“This short pause will give us time to get a better understanding of the developing situation and to consider the potential implementation of a range of measures to make the bubble safer, such as the introduction of pre-departure testing for all flights from Australia to New Zealand,” said Hipkins.

“I acknowledge the frustration and inconvenience that comes with this pause, but given the high level of transmissibility of what appears to be the Delta variant, and the fact that there are now multiple community clusters, it is the right thing to do to keep COVID-19 out of New Zealand.”

More to come.

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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.