State shuts border to New Zealand

One state is shutting its border to New Zealand after an outbreak of coronavirus, ending all ‘green flights’ from tonight.

Queensland is shutting its border to New Zealand after an outbreak of COVID-19 in Auckland, forcing travellers to quarantine for two weeks.

Chief health officer Jeannette Young said New Zealand was no longer a “safe travel country”, so all “green flights” would stop from 6pm on Wednesday.

It comes after the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee received advice that the level of risk in New Zealand had increased.

Dr Young said the border decision was made to protect the health of everyone in Queensland.

“Unfortunately, over the past few days New Zealand has been recording some new positive cases, which is why we are closing the border from 6pm,” Dr Young said in a statement.

“Anyone who is permitted to travel to Queensland from New Zealand will be required to quarantine on arrival.

“Acting with an abundance of caution has kept Queenslanders safe and that’s exactly the path we will continue to take.”

Travellers who have been in New Zealand since February 21 are also urged to get tested and isolate until they receive their results.

It also applies to anyone who has entered from February 6 who has not already been tested.

“New Zealand is working very hard to contain this community transmission, but they are still in a critical stage of their response, so we need to keep watching closely,” Dr Young said.

“Things can change really quickly with this virus – we’ve seen that in other countries around the world — which is why I am asking Queenslanders to reconsider their need to travel to New Zealand.”

Meanwhile, NSW Health is contacting travellers who have arrived from New Zealand since February 20 on quarantine-free flights to check if they have been to any new venues attended by an infectious person.

As a precaution, people who have arrived after that date are also being urged to get tested and isolate until they get a negative result, or for two weeks if they attended one of the venues.

“A notice is now in effect specifying Auckland as a hotspot,” NSW Health said in a statement.

“This requires people arriving in NSW from New Zealand who have been in Auckland, including the airport, to enter hotel quarantine for 14 days.

“Alternatively, they may choose to depart Australia.”

The hotspot will come into effect at 12.01am on Thursday.

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