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Covid-19: NZ's pause on quarantine-free travel with Victoria extended another week

New Zealand’s quarantine-free travel pause with Victoria will continue for another seven days, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced this afternoon.

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Recent travellers to Australia are being asked to check if they’ve been to potential Covid-19 exposure sites. Source: 1 NEWS

It follows an assessment of the Covid-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, which now has 93 cases spread over four clusters.

Contact tracing efforts have identified more than 15,000 close contacts.

While the cases in the greater Melbourne outbreak are genomically linked to cases arriving from overseas, there are at least three cases where an epidemiological link is still to be confirmed, Hipkins said.

“While the overall risk to New Zealand is low, today’s advice from New Zealand public health officials is that the travel pause should continue,” he said.

“The Government is taking a precautionary approach in continuing the pause, which will be reviewed again next Wednesday.”

People wear protective face masks while walking in Melbourne, Victoria. Source: istock.com

Everyone who is eligible can continue returning on “green flights”, meaning they will not be required to isolate when they arrive home.

However, they must provide evidence of a negative Covid-19 test taken within three-days of departure.

“These pre-departure measures, in addition to a further pause on quarantine-free travel, will continue to ensure New Zealand is best placed to keep Covid-19 out,” he said.

Quarantine-free travel to Queensland and New South Wales will remain in place, as New Zealand public health officials deemed the risk from two new positive cases in Queensland to be low.

Anyone who was in in the New South Wales towns of Dubbo, Forbes, Gillenbah or Moree between June 1-5, or in Queensland in Toowoomba, Caloundra, Buddina and Baringa between June 5-8 have been advised to check the locations of interest online at the NSW Health and Queensland Government websites.

Anyone at the locations of interest at the specified times should call Healthline on 0800 358 5453, get tested and self-isolate until they return a negative result.

Anyone who was at a location of interest at the specified times also cannot not travel to New Zealand within 14 days of the exposure event.