Bubble test for NZ amid Victoria lockdown

·2-min read

New Zealanders in Victoria have been told to "hunker down" as they settle into a week-long lockdown in the Australian state.

More than 1000 New Zealand residents are believed to be in Victoria, travelling after the establishment of the trans-Tasman bubble last month.

Their path home has been blocked by the New Zealand government, which has stopped quarantine-free travel in response to new community cases.

On Thursday afternoon, COVID-19 Minister Chris Hipkins announced the travel ban would extend to Friday, June 4.

"Hunker down and follow the rules," Mr Hipkins said.

"We acknowledge this as a difficult time. It's disruptive. It's probably expensive if you're staying in paid accommodation.

"That's one of the realities of traveling and in the era of COVID."

Prior to opening the bubble, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern repeatedly warned travelling Kiwis she would take a "flyer beware" approach to outbreaks in Australia.

That is, travellers would need to make their own contingencies if such a lockdown emerged - with no repatriation flights.

Speaking from Nelson on Thursday, Ms Ardern confirmed that approach.

"To any Kiwis who are in Melbourne, I know that they would have planned ahead, had contingency just in case a scenario like this occurs," she said, as reported by Stuff.

"Follow the guidance from local health authorities."

NZ health authorities previously contacted around 10,000 people who have recently arrived in Aotearoa from Victoria, advising them to be alert for COVID-19 symptoms.

On Thursday, they added new restrictions, asking anyone who was in Melbourne from May 20 to 25 to immediately isolate and get a test.

"We still think the risk is low," Director General of Heath Ashley Bloomfield said.

"We have seen a big increase in the number of locations of interest ... in the central city so we are applying a precautionary approach."

That legal order has had the unintended consequence of including Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, ahead of his visit to New Zealand on Sunday.

Mr Morrison was in southeast Melbourne on May 20.

AAP has asked officials to confirm his eligibility to visit Aotearoa.