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Some people travelling from Australia to NZ required to undergo pre-departure Covid-19 tests

The Government is introducing a rule that will force people travelling to New Zealand from Australia to get and pass a pre-departure Covid-19 test, if they were in Victoria in the days leading up to the bubble pause. 

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It comes after New Zealand extended the pause on the Victoria bubble yesterday.

It means anyone who is in another state, but was in Victoria during the infectious period of the original Covid-19 community periods, are able to fly to New Zealand as long as they have a negative Covid-19 test. 

Anyone who has been in Victoria since May 25 at 7.59pm are not allowed to fly to New Zealand due to the pause.

The new rule comes in on May 31 at 11.59pm - until then, passengers who had been in Melbourne during that time have the choice of a pre-departure test, or isolating and getting a test.

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The requirement to be tested prior to entering New Zealand is implemented by a health order, not the section 70 notices put in place by the Director-General of Health such as the rule imposed yesterday ordering returnees from Melbourne to isolate. 

Health orders generally take a longer time than section 70 notices to put in place. 

New Zealand already requires some travellers to get pre-departure tests before entering. Before today, all of Australia was exempt. 

It comes as Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is set to enter New Zealand for the leaders' meeting with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. 

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However, yesterday, Dr Bloomfield put in place an order that any person in New Zealand who had been in greater Melbourne since May 20 must isolate then get a test. 

That would apply to Morrison - as AAP reporter Ben McKay pointed out the Australian PM had been in Melbourne on May 20. 

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said Morrison and his delegation had all already done the pre-departure tests. 

"It shouldn't disrupt his travel to New Zealand," Hipkins said. 

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Earlier this week, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said he would like to see pre-departure testing for people who had been in the north-Melbourne area coming back into New Zealand. That would be done 72 hours prior to leaving.

"We'd like to make sure, as the situation evolves, we're able to put that requirement in place and then ensure people are abiding by that requirement," Bloomfield said.

Yesterday, the pause on the quarantine-free travel bubble with Victoria was extended a further seven days, while people who were in the greater Melbourne area between May 20-25 were told to get tested for Covid-19 and self-isolate under orders from Bloomfield. 

The travel pause extension would be in place at this stage until next Friday, June 4 at 7.59pm. 

The extension and new rules come as the Melbourne Covid-19 crisis continued to grow, increasing to 39 cases, with four new community Covid-19 cases reported today. The state of Victoria went into lockdown from yesterday and it's scheduled to be in place until June 3. 

Any person who had travelled back to New Zealand and had been in a location of interest or in the Whittlesea area since May 11 also needed to isolate and be tested. 

Hipkins estimated about 5000 people would be impacted by yesterday's decision. 

New Zealand hit pause on the Victoria bubble on Tuesday at 7.59pm – lasting initially 72 hours. The pause was formally reviewed yesterday, about 48 hours after it was first put in place.