New Zealand puts travel bubble with Australia on hold

New Zealand has paused the travel bubble with all of Australia in the wake of the COVID outbreak affecting Sydney.

It comes after updated health advice about the increased number of cases on this side of the Tasman.

Quarantine-free travel from all Australian states and territories was put on hold from 8.30pm Saturday night until at least midnight on Tuesday.


The travel bubble with New South Wales had already been paused until at least July 7.

New Zealand officials said the decision will be reviewed on Monday.

“I acknowledge the frustration and inconvenience that comes with this pause, but given the high level of transmissibility of what appears to be the Delta variant, and the fact that there are now multiple community clusters, it is the right thing to do to keep COVID-19 out of New Zealand,” New Zealand’s COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said in a statement.

Anyone who is currently in New Zealand who has been in Australia since June 21 is being urged to monitor for symptoms and keep up to date with Australian exposure sites.

New Zealand is now looking at increasing safety measures before re-opening the bubble.

“This short pause will give us time to get a better understanding of the developing situation and to consider a range of measures to make the bubble safer, such as the possible introduction of pre-departure testing for all flights from Australia to New Zealand,” Mr Hipkins said.