NZ to lift NSW travel ban midnight Sunday

Ben McKayAAP
New Zealand will lift its suspension of quarantine-free travel with NSW at midnight on Sunday.
Camera IconNew Zealand will lift its suspension of quarantine-free travel with NSW at midnight on Sunday. Credit: AAP

New Zealand has extended its suspension of quarantine-free travel until midnight on Sunday, when it will restore regular travel links.

NZ enacted the travel pause on Thursday in response to a two new community cases of COVID-19 in Sydney.

NSW health officials still haven't identified the missing link between the positive tests and quarantine - however COVID-19 Minister Chris Hipkins is satisfied the risk to Kiwis has dissipated.

"There has been close liaison between the health agencies," he said.

Mr Hipkins said the NSW risk assessment was that "the two community cases in Sydney are contained and that there is no evidence of widespread undetected community transmission".

NZ's travel ban to the entire state was in stark contrast to other Australian states - which largely chose only to ban travellers who had visited exposure sites.

NZ health authorities have not explained their overzealous approach, which saw NSW citizens hundreds of kilometres away from Sydney banned from travel.

NZ's COVID-19 website was also slow to reflect this decision - meaning northern NSW citizens who attempted to fly to NZ from the Gold Coast and Brisbane were upset when they were turned away.

Contact tracers contacted 5477 people who arrived in NZ from NSW in the past week, urging them to monitor their symptoms.

One person, identified by NZ Health, was asked to quarantine after visiting an exposure site.

That person has since returned a negative test from their stay in managed isolation.

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