By One News / TVNZ and is republished with permission
Travel between New Zealand and Western Australia has been paused after a Covid outbreak in Perth.
“New Zealand health officials are in contact with their Australian counterparts and are completing a risk assessment,” Minister for Covid-19 Response Chris Hipkins said.
Hipkins said the pause was “set out in our Trans-Tasman bubble protocols”.
“A flight due to leave Perth for New Zealand later tonight will not take off following Western Australia’s decision, and any New Zealanders affected are asked to follow the advice of Western Australian authorities.”
Air New Zealand said in a statement those on the cancelled flight – NZ176 from Perth to Auckland – are being given the option to rebook, put their flight into credit, or receive a refund if they have purchased a refundable ticket.
“There are no Air New Zealand services to or from Perth tomorrow. We expect to be able to provide further clarity on the impact to Sunday’s services tomorrow afternoon,” Air New Zealand said in the statement.
The government’s decision to pause travel comes after Western Australia premier Mark McGowan confirmed in a press conference shortly before 7pm NZT that Perth along with the Peel region would enter a three-day lockdown tonight after a hotel quarantine outbreak led to community transmission.
“I know this is hard to take and I wish we didn’t need to be doing this,” McGowan told reporters.
“But we can’t take any chances with the virus. We just can’t.”