Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins provides the latest information on New Zealand travel arrangements with Victoria, which is experiencing a Covid-19 outbreak. Photo / Mark Mitchell

New Zealand’s non-quarantine travel break with Victoria will be extended for six days, the government said.

But New Zealand citizens, Australian citizens normally residing in New Zealand, people on humanitarian exemptions and essential workers stranded in Victoria will be able to travel to New Zealand from 11:59 p.m. on June 8.

Anyone boarding these flights will have to undergo a negative Covid test before departure made less than 72 hours before departure.

The start of the flights recognizes that by then people currently in Victoria will have completed 14 days of lockdown – the same length of stay as MIQ.

Returning travelers will also be required to sign a health declaration prior to departure to confirm that they have not been to a place of interest.

But by June 9, New Zealand health officials say the risk to public health for people returning from Melbourne will be low.

Officials continue to work on the details of how seats will be allocated if demand for these flights exceeds supply. These details will be provided on the Covid-19 website in the coming days.

Melbourne lockdown extended

The announcement comes after Victoria’s lockdown was extended for parts of the state after new community cases were confirmed. It was originally scheduled to end at 11:59 p.m. on June 3, but will now be extended by seven days.

Associate Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall said on Wednesday that the government’s general advice to the Kiwis stranded in Melbourne was a warning to “watch out for leaflets”.

‚ÄúPeople had to be ready for community transmission and lockdown where they are, and it happened. “

There was currently no provision to bring people back, but that would be part of Thursday’s reassessment, she said.

They would also discuss some form of risk assessment for all New Zealanders who were due to return.

Bloomfield said the Department of Health was exploring options for Kiwis traveling from Melbourne even if the lockdown continued, which could include a pre-departure test, an arrival test and a stay at MIQ.

Victoria announced three new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, bringing the state’s cluster to 63.

This is a drop from the six new infections confirmed on Wednesday.

Melbourne residents have also been warned that even though the lockdown is lifted next week, the city will still be forced to live with weeks of strict restrictions until the outbreak is completely under control.

While the five reasons for leaving home can be removed, rules could be maintained regarding mask wearing, strict capacity limits for businesses and venues, limits on the number of guests who can attend weddings and funerals and the limits of domestic and public gatherings. New Zealand officials have rated the current risk as medium for Melbourne but declining for the greater Melbourne area.

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Source: www.nzherald.co.nz
This notice was published: 2021-06-03 04:30:00

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