The temporary pause on the quarantine-free travel bubble between New Zealand and New South Wales is set to lift from 11.59pm today.
Flights from NSW were paused for 48 hours on Thursday, after officials in NSW had not been able to identify a chain of transmission between the Sydney community cases and a person in managed isolation, who had been linked to the cases.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said yesterday the current travel pause with New South Wales will lift tonight, subject to no further significant developments in NSW.
“New Zealand health officials met ... to conduct a further assessment of the public health risk from the recently-identified Covid-19 community cases in Sydney. It has been determined that the risk to public health in New Zealand remains low,” Hipkins said.
“Consequently, the Ministry of Health is advising airlines that flights can resume from 11:59pm [today] subject to there being no further significant developments."
In a statement yesterday evening, Air New Zealand said customers who had been impacted by the travel restrictions were being given the option to rebook, put their flight into credit, or receive a refund if they purchased a refundable ticket.
The decision to resume the travel bubble came after NSW reported no new community cases of Covid-19 yesterday.
Coronavirus restrictions in NSW are also due to ease tomorrow.
Under the restrictions in the Australian state, masks are mandatory indoors and no more than 20 people are allowed inside homes.
The restrictions were in response to two community cases of Covid being confirmed in NSW this week.
The two cases were a man in his 50s and has wife, from Sydney's east.
NSW Health has released a list of locations of interest visited by the couple.
The New Zealand Government is advising that anyone who is in Australia and was at any of the locations of interest at the times specified must follow NSW Health advice regarding isolation and testing.
They also must not travel to New Zealand within 14 days from when they were at the location.
When quarantine-free travel resumes from NSW, there will be some additional public health measures required for people who are or have recently been in Sydney.
Anyone who is travelling to New Zealand from Australia will be required to follow some additional instructions in order to limit any risk of further spread.
Airlines will continue to ask people departing Australia whether they have visited any locations of interest in New South Wales both before and when disembarking from their flights.
The NSW pause is not the first of its kind. New Zealand previously put a halt on the travel bubble over Covid-19 cases in Western Australia.