8 May 2021

Travel pause with NSW will lift tomorrow – Chris Hipkins

7:32 pm on 8 May 2021

The travel pause with New South Wales will lift tomorrow, subject to no further significant developments in NSW, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says.

Sydney, Australia - December 26, 2015: Croud of people at the famous shopping mall around Sydney CBD during the boxing day sales

Photo: 123rf.com

Quarantine-free travel was paused at midnight on Thursday after two community cases of Covid-19 were identified in Sydney.

No further community cases have been reported either in New South Wales or New Zealand since then.

A person transferred to MIQ in Christchurch - who was at a location of interest at the same time as a positive case in Sydney - has tested negative.

Hipkins said health officials met today to conduct a further assessment of the public health risk, and it was determined the risk remains low.

"Consequently, the Ministry of Health is advising airlines that flights can resume from 11:59pm tomorrow (Sunday 9 May) subject to there being no further significant developments.

"This is good news and aligns with the lifting of NSW restrictions at 12.01am on Monday 10 May 2021," Hipkins said.

"I am pleased with the way the response process has been managed this week. There has been close liaison between the health agencies, and this is reflected in the sound advice our respective Governments have received."

There was some specific advice for travellers to be aware of:

  • Flights from NSW to New Zealand to resume at 11:59pm Sunday 9 May
  • Anyone who is in Australia and was at any locations of interest at the times specified are asked to follow NSW health advice about isolation and testing and must not travel to New Zealand within 14 days from when they were at the location.
  • Anyone who has arrived in New Zealand at was at a location of interest must self-isolate and call Healthline

Ministry of Health said airlines would continue to ask people departing Australia if they have visited any locations of interest in NSW before they disembark their flights.

The ministry said a section 70 notice had been issued under the Health Act, which had a number of requirements for anyone in New Zealand who attended a location of interest.

"New Zealand has consistently taken a precautionary approach to keeping Covid-19 out," Hipkins said.

"The government's overall public health strategy in respect of the Covid-19 pandemic is elimination. Border controls are a key tool for stopping the introduction and spread of new cases from overseas and remain central to our elimination strategy."

Three new cases in managed isolation have been reported today, involving arrivals from Guatemala, the Maldives and France.