Quarantine-free travel between NSW and New Zealand has been suspended following the discovery of two community cases of an Indian COVID-19 variant in Sydney.
The Sydney outbreak is made up of an Indian variant of COVID-19, but not a “variant of concern”, NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant told
While the travel bubble remains open for all other Australian states, New Zealand has hit pause on NSW flights until Sunday May 9.
"I have made the decision to pause flight from New South Wales for a period of 48 hours," New Zealand coronavirus response minister Chris Hipkins announced to the media this afternoon. "That will come into effect at 11:59pm tonight (NZ time)"
"We will keep that under constant review during that time," he added.
"We indicated when we opened up the trans-Tasman travel bubble (that we) will continue to be cautious, we are continuing to be cautious."
"Obviously to more information during that time they gives us more confidence we get is that restriction earlier, we reserve the ability to do that, if over the period of time further information come to like them is ready to extend that and we have the ability to do that as well."
The Australia-New Zealand travel bubble was opened less than three weeks ago, on April 19.
While the two Sydney cases have been connected to an overseas traveller in hotel quarantine, how both people were infected remains unknown.
Qantas and Air New Zealand are expected to shortly announce their response; both airlines' booking policy allows for passengers on any suspended flights to have the cost of their tickets converted into travel credit to use against a future booking.
More to follow...