Tuesday, June 15, 2021

WA travel bubble decision today

The New Zealand Government will today decide whether to lift its Trans-Tasman travel pause with Western Australia, after the Australian state ended its three-day lockdown last night.

Western Australia recorded no new cases of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours and New Zealand health officials were again in contact with their Australian counterparts yesterday to discuss ongoing arrangements.

“Our risk assessment remains that the public health risk to New Zealand is low,” said Minister Chris Hipkins.

Some additional information from Western Australia, however, particularly more results from the additional testing that has been done, are expected to be available today, he said.

“Until then, travel between New Zealand and Western Australia will remain paused.”

“The first scheduled flight from Western Australia would be scheduled to leave Tuesday night New Zealand time and we are working to be able to confirm our position as soon as possible to give those passengers certainty.” 

Meanwhile, contact tracing for the passengers who arrived in New Zealand on direct flights from Perth on 19, 21 and 23 April is largely completed, the Minister said.

The number of passengers is now confirmed at 664, an update on the early estimate of 1000 provided by the Ministry of Health yesterday, he said.

“All but seven have now been contacted,” Mr Hipkins confirmed.

“An update on the two casual contacts in New Zealand potentially linked to the Western Australian cases, and the results of their tests, is expected today by the Ministry.”

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