New Zealand pauses travel bubble after Australian COVID outbreak

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Apr 24 2021 03:26 AM

New Zealand pauses travel bubble after Australian COVID outbreak 1
New Zealand travelers are seen as quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand begins, at Sydney International Airport, Australia, April 19, 2021. Mick Tsikas, AAP Image/Reuters

New Zealand on Friday paused its newly opened travel bubble with Australia, the government in Wellington said, after a COVID-19 outbreak in its larger neighbor.

"As set out in our Trans-Tasman bubble protocols, travel between New Zealand and Western Australia has been paused, pending further advice from the state government," a statement on the New Zealand government website said.

The decision came after Western Australia announced that the regions of Perth and Peel were entering a three-day lockdown, starting midnight Friday to Saturday, due to a traveler testing positive for the coronavirus.

The decision to lock down followed "a positive COVID-19 case from hotel quarantine who was active in the community," a statement on the Western Australia government website said.

Local media reported that a man in his 50s flew into Melbourne from Perth on Wednesday and tested positive for the coronavirus earlier Friday.

Heunderwent the legally-required quarantine in a Perth hotel and had gone to restaurants, a university, a public pool, a doctor's office and a friend's house before leaving the area.

"He spent up to five days in Perth, and we now need to assume he was infectious," Western Australia premier Mark McGowan told a press conference.

New Zealand and Australia had opened their quarantine-free travel bubble on April 18.

Watch more on iWantTFC