New Zealand halted an open travel “bubble” with Australia on Friday, the government announced in Wellington, after the covid-19 epidemic re-emerged in its major neighbors.
“According to our bubble protocol, travel between New Zealand and Western Australia has been suspended and government consultations are pending,” the New Zealand government said in a statement on its website.
The move comes after authorities in Western Australia announced three days of health restrictions in the Perth and Peel areas, which are set to begin at midnight, due to a passenger who tested positive for the corona virus.
The new restrictions were decided “following a favorable case for a person isolated in a hotel and active in the community”, officials in Western Australia said on their website. According to local media, a 50-year-old man who took the Perth-Melbourne flight on Wednesday had a positive test earlier on Friday.
He isolated himself in a hotel that was legally required, but before he left he was in restaurants, college, doctor and a friend’s house. “He has been in Perth for almost 5 days and he should be treated as a victim,” Western Australian Prime Minister Mark McGowan told a news conference.
New Zealand and Australia had decided on April 18 to allow travel between the two countries without mandatory isolation.