The travel bubble pause between Sydney and New Zealand will be lifted after NSW reported no new locally acquired cases on Saturday.
New Zealand’s COVID-19 Response Minister, Chris Hipkins, confirmed quarantine-free trans-Tasman travel will resume on Sunday at 11.59pm but warned the update was subject to there being no further issues with the Sydney outbreak.
“New Zealand health officials met today to conduct a further assessment of the public health risk from the recently identified COVID-19 community cases in Sydney,” he said in a statement released on Saturday night.
“It has been determined that the risk to public health in New Zealand remains low.
“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.”
The update comes as health authorities in NSW reported zero new locally acquired cases on Saturday, while six returned overseas travellers tested positive in quarantine.
A man in his 50s from Sydney’s eastern suburbs tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, and contact tracing alerts from the case now cover more than a dozen suburbs across the city.
Genome sequencing has linked the man’s case to a returned traveller from the US, who had an Indian variant of the virus, but it is not yet known how the virus spread between them.
The man’s wife had also tested positive to the virus with Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Wednesday praising the man’s use of QR codes to accurately record his movements.
“This person did everything right, but it goes to show that we can’t take a single thing for granted,” she told reporters during the week.
“It goes to show we have to maintain our social distancing, have to make sure we have good hand hygiene, we need to get tested with the mildest of symptoms, and very importantly and significantly, we need to use QR codes.”