Australia has lengthened its suspension of quarantine-free travel from New Zealand for a further three days after a further two community cases of COVID-19 were discovered across the Tasman.
Acting Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd said the emergence of the new positive tests for the South African strain of coronavirus, a “variant of concern”, led to the call.
“This allows continuing protection of the people of Australia while the extent of the situation in New Zealand continues to be clarified,” he said on Thursday.
Kiwi health authorities believe the three cases were transmitted at one hotel quarantine facility, the Pullman Hotel in Auckland.
Despite the positive tests, there is still no evidence of community transmission in New Zealand, and the government has no plans to raise alert levels.
The travel suspension will last until 2pm AEDT on Sunday.