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Quarantine Free Travel With New South Wales To Remain, Risk Deemed Low

Following a further public health assessment of recently identified COVID-19 community cases in Sydney, Quarantine Free Travel with New South Wales will remain in place – subject to no further significant developments in the Australian State, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.

“New Zealand health officials met again today and determined that, at this time, the COVID-19 public health risk to New Zealand remains low,” the Ministry’s Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay says.

Health officials are continuing to review details of four confirmed community cases of COVID-19 reported in New South Wales in the past 48 hours. Meanwhile, a further case continues to be under investigation as a possible false positive, possible historical case, or possible early infection.

“In line with our precautionary approach, specific public health advice has been issued, which we consider to be prudent,” Dr McElnay says.

The Ministry is contacting people who have travelled from Sydney to New Zealand since 11 June to advise them to check the locations of interest and self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. Anyone who develops symptoms should self-isolate and contact Healthline about getting a test.

“We must remain vigilant,” Dr McElnay says. “Follow public health advice, get tested and isolate immediately if even mild symptoms develop.

“This situation is another reminder to all of us that the COVID-19 pandemic continues and that this is a tricky virus – new cases can emerge anywhere, anytime.”

Advice for all travellers:

There is some specific advice for travellers to be aware of:
· Flights from New South Wales to New Zealand will continue - subject to no significant developments in New South Wales.
· Anyone who is in Australia and was at any of the locations of interest at the times specified is asked to follow NSW health advice regarding isolation and testing and MUST NOT travel to New Zealand within 14 days from when they were at the location.
· As before, anyone who has arrived in New Zealand and who was at a location of interest at the specified time must self-isolate immediately and call Healthline for information on when they should be tested.

New Zealand health officials are continuing to consider a range of factors, including whether any new cases are identified, the results from COVID-19 testing of any contacts identified and from the wider Sydney community.

Advice for travellers from New South Wales:

There will be some additional public health measures required for people who are, or have recently been, in Sydney.
· Airlines will continue to ask people departing Australia whether they have visited any locations of interest in New South Wales, and New Zealand Customs staff are asking this of passengers upon disembarking from their flights.
· A Section 70 notice has been issued under the Health Act, which requires any person in New Zealand who attended locations of interest to self-isolate and get tested for COVID-19. More information on what a section 70 notice is and what it means for these people, is available on theMinistry of Health website.

“We are continuing to closely monitor the situation in New South Wales – as we do when any cases of this nature emerge – and will issue updated health advice if required,” Dr McElnay says.

Information about quarantine-free travel between New South Wales and New Zealand is available on the COVID-19 website:

https://covid19.govt.nz/travel/quarantine-free-travel/australia/new-south-wales/

Information about locations of interest visited by the cases is available on the New South Wales health website:

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Pages/case-locations-and-alerts.aspx

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