The Government is set to provide an update on the travel bubble pause with Victoria following news the state has gone into a seven-day lockdown amid a Covid-19 outbreak.
Acting Victoria Premier James Merlino said this afternoon the state would go into a “circuit-breaker” lockdown from midnight until Friday morning next week, with only five reasons to leave the house.
The number of cases had grown to 34, with 150 exposure sites across the city and “over 10,000” contacts identified so far – a number expected to only increase.
Health officials on this side of the Tasman are now expected to extend the pause with the NZ-Victoria travel bubble, which was initially suspended for 72 hours from Tuesday evening.
A Government announcement is expected before 4.30pm, with Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins fronting a press stand-up shortly after.
Hipkins has previously said the pause would be under constant review.
The Ministry of Health said its officials were in close contact with counterparts in Victoria following the state’s seven-day lockdown announced today.
It was “crucial” that any Kiwi travellers in Victoria since May 11 were checking Victoria Health’s locations of interest.
Under the lockdown those in Victoria will only be allowed to leave their homes for five reasons, including to get food and supplies, authorised work, care and caregiving for medical reasons, exercise for up to two hours each day with one other person, and getting vaccinated.
It is the fourth time the state has been placed in a lockdown.
Because the first case in the Melbourne cluster was identified just over two weeks ago – on May 11 – it is possible that people from the Whittlesea local government area in Melbourne may have been exposed to the virus and are now in New Zealand, the Ministry of Health said.
“The ministry is asking anyone who has been in that area to have a test five days after they were last in Whittlesea and stay in their accommodation until they have a negative test result – even if they do no have symptoms.”
Anyone from the wider Melbourne region who develops symptoms while in New Zealand is also urged to take action immediately by calling Healthline on 0800 358 5453 and arrange to get a Covid test.
The locations of interest connected to the Melbourne cluster are regularly updated on Victoria’s dedicated Covid website.
Meanwhile New Zealand continues to record no cases of Covid-19 in the community.
Yesterday, no positive cases were detected at the border either – with the Ministry of Health reporting no new cases at any of the managed isolation facilities around the country.
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