The travel arrangements have been suspended for an initial 72-hour period.
Australia has stopped its travel arrangements with New Zealand for a three-day period after a case of a new Covid-19 variant had been discovered Auckland. (Featured image: @danfreemanphoto)
It is thought that the 56-year-old woman who tested positive for Coronavirus contracted the virus during quarantine in the Pullman Auckland hotel.
Health authorities in New Zealand have shared concerns regarding the positive test since the woman had left the hotel following two negative tests. Only later did she begin to display symptoms and then tested positive. There are concerns of spreading in the community, although nothing has suggested this is the case thus far.
New Zealand authorities also revealed that the new case appeared to be the new South African (B1351) variant of the virus.
The Australian health minister, Greg Hunt, on Monday said in a statement: “Australia has suspended green zone travel arrangements with New Zealand for a minimum of 72 hours whilst more is learnt about the transmission.
“This change comes into effect immediately. The decision has been taken out of an abundance of caution to reduce the risk of this variant, which has been shown to spread more readily between individuals, entering the Australian community.”
Hunt also added that anyone who arrived in Australia on or after January 14 should isolate.
Although New Zealanders have been able to enter Australia as part of the Safe Travel Zone, Australians have not yet been given the go-ahead to visit New Zealand. However, previous reports have said that the Trans-Tasman travel bubble would open in early 2021. How this new development will affect these plans, we’re not sure.