Fresh Victorian threat to Aust-NZ bubble

·1-min read

The New Zealand government has effectively served Kiwis in Victoria a go home order if they want to avoid being stranded by a trans-Tasman bubble closure.

On Wednesday evening, COVID-19 Minister Chris Hipkins said he was awaiting advice from health officials in response to seven new cases of the virus in Melbourne.

"I want to encourage anyone with concerns about the potential of a pause to Quarantine Free Travel to organise to get home as soon as possible," he said.

The trans-Tasman bubble has been plagued since it opened almost three months ago, and has been partially closed two-thirds of the time.

It is currently operational to five states, the ACT and NT - with NSW the outlier.

Kiwis who travelled to NSW last month prior to the border closure have been unable to travel home until this week.

Even now, those who were lucky enough to snare one of the limited places on a "managed flight" home must spend a fortnight in quarantine.

The fresh Melbourne cases are linked to the NSW outbreak, with Victorian health officials pondering the best response to contain the infectious Delta variant of the virus.

"There are also a growing number of locations of interest that are of concern, including a sports stadium on Saturday and several pubs," Mr Hipkins said.

"I will provide an update once I receive further information from public health officials."

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