COVID-19: Sydney–New Zealand 48 hour suspension of fights
Well if you wanted to know what will happen to the trans-Tasman travel bubble if there were two cases of community transmission in one state – now you do.
New Zealand has suspended flights from Sydney for the next 48 hours from midnight Thursday 6 May. After those 48 hours the suspension will be reviewed and may cease, or maybe extended.
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The 2 cases have now been serologically linked to a case in quarantine, but how the virus was transmitted, since there was no apparant contact remains a mystery. It’s possible there is a missing link.
The Sydney outbreak involves an Indian variant of COVID-19, but not a “variant of concern”, according to NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant.
New restrictions in Sydney
The community transmission has also sparked the re-introductions of some restrictions for metropolitan Sydney, including restrictions on gatherings and mask wearing on public transport and other public spaces.
New restrictions on domestic travellers from Sydney
Queensland and Western Australia have are imposing quarantine restrictions on travellers who have been in exposure sites in NSW. You can check here.
If you are heading to Queensland from NSW and have been in an exposure site listed in the latest Sydney COVID-19 cluster then you will need to enter hotel quarantine from 1:00 am tomorrow.
WA wants anyone who has visited an NSW exposure site to self-quarantine for 14 days with a COVID test on days 2 and 12.
What happens next?
New Zealand’s Minister For COVID-19 Response, Chris Hipkins said:
“Those people who have travelled to New Zealand from New South Wales over the past six days will be contacted. They will be asked, if they have been in one of the locations of interest, to isolate and to seek a test.”
If you are planning to travel to NZ in the next 48 hours or so – contact your travel agent or the airline concerned. I’d try all methods – direct message on twitter, facebook and try the actual phone number
If you are scheduled to travel in the next 48 hours – expect cancellation of your flight, and start planning what you might do.
Flights already appear to be being cancelled:
It also looks like at least one of both Qantas and Air New Zealand flights to Sydney are cancelled for tomorrow.