Pause on Quarantine Free Travel from Queensland, New South Wales extended

The pause on Quarantine Free Travel from Queensland and New South Wales to New Zealand will continue, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.

New Zealand health officials met again today and determined that, at this time, there is still a need to get a better understanding of the developing situation and the number, and pattern, of cases being reported in these Australian States.

A range of factors for each State were considered, including whether any new cases are identified, whether they were infectious in the community, and the results from COVID-19 testing of any contacts and from the wider community.

New Zealand public health staff remain in close contact with Australian health authorities about the actions being taken in each State. As with previous pauses, it will be under constant review.

We consider this pause to be prudent while investigations continue and until further test results are returned.

The Government has announced plans for the carefully managed commencement of ‘return green flights‘ from Queensland and New South Wales to New Zealand, from Friday 9 July at 11:59pm.

Travel on such flights will be limited to New Zealand citizens, Australian citizens normally resident in New Zealand, people with humanitarian exemptions and critical workers who are stranded in Queensland or New South Wales.

Anyone boarding these flights will need to have a negative pre-departure test taken within 72 hours before departure.

Travellers must also meet all the standard public health measures for travel, which include declaring they have not been in a location of interest in the past 14 days, are not symptomatic, are not a close contact and are not awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test.

Upon return to New Zealand, travellers are asked to monitor themselves closely for any COVID-19 symptoms after arrival in the country and to diligently keep contact tracing records using the NZ COVID Tracer app or another form of diary.

Likewise, anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should stay at home, get tested, and remain in isolation until a negative test result is returned.

The increasing number of cases we are seeing in many parts of the world – including by our Australian neighbours – is a stark reminder that the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing. It reinforces we are taking the right approach with our precautionary actions to protect the public health of New Zealanders.

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