Trans-Tasman bubble closed until late November

File photo

The trans-Tasman bubble will remain closed until at least late November, with no guarantee of a resumption by Christmas.

Quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Australia was suspended in July in response to New South Wales and other states struggling to contain Delta outbreaks. The situation has only worsened since.

Covid-19 Minister Chris Hipkins says reopening the travel bubble with Australia would jeopardise the gains made in tackling New Zealand’s own outbreak.

However, there is some hope for Kiwis stuck in Australia with the next release of MIQ spots under a new lobby system scheduled for Monday morning.

Hipkins, who is also Education Minister, also announced the school holidays would not be brought forward, after parents struggling to balance work and homeschooling during Auckland’s lockdown had said moving them would ease pressure.

Leaving the school holidays as they are meant less disruption for Auckland schools and students, who have now spent weeks out of the classroom, Hipkins says. He added it meant term four would not need to be extended when most students were tired at the end of the year.

More locations of interest outside of Auckland were added to the Ministry of Health's website on Friday, after they were visited by an Auckland delivery truck driver who later tested positive for Covid-19.

The new locations included BP Tauriko in Tauranga, Z Central Parade in Mount Maunganui, Uppercrust Bakery in Mount Maunganui,  Z Hautapu near Cambridge, Tuck Shop Cambridge, GAS Paeroa, Ngatea Lotto and Foodmart and Maramarua General Store.

Supermarkets visited by the truck driver were not included in locations of interest as he only went to delivery areas not accessible to the public.

Global toll

Covid-19 cases have passed 227 million globally, and more than 4.7 million people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The United States leads the recorded global toll, with 41.9m cases and 671,522 deaths. India has seen 33.4m cases and 444,248 deaths.

The United Kingdom has reported 7.4 million cases and 135,134 deaths.

More than 5.9 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide.

What should I do?

Anyone who wants to get tested can find their local testing centres by visiting the Ministry of Health website.

Auckland is at alert level 4. Everywhere else in New Zealand is at alert level 2.

Masks are mandatory for people over the age of 12 when accessing essential services such as supermarkets.

People should use the Covid-19 tracer app.

If you are sick, call your GP before you visit, or Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

To avoid contracting and spreading the virus, wash your hands properly, cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow and throw tissues away immediately.

Reach out, find support from people who care, connect with your community or help a neighbour in need.


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Posted on 18-09-2021 21:00 | By

New Zealand has well and truly retreated into its cave. Pathetic.