Victoria travel bubble pause extended; all recent visitors from Melbourne to be tested

The pause in New Zealand’s quarantine-free travel with Victoria will be extended until 7:59pm on Friday 4 June.

Victoria has put in place a seven-day lockdown from 11:59pm tonight with local residents now required to stay home following confirmation of additional locally-acquired cases of COVID-19, increasing exposure sites and a large and growing number of close contacts.

The pause extension is based on the public health risk assessment to further protect New Zealanders. Our public health staff remain in close contact with Victorian authorities about the actions being taken in Melbourne.

Locations of interest

In Australia, the 14-day travel restrictions for those who have visited locations of interest means they are ineligible to travel to New Zealand within 14 days from exposure – even with a negative COVID-19 test.

Find out the locations of interest in Victoria (external link)

Advice for those recently in Melbourne

In addition to the extension, the Ministry of Health is updating advice for those who have been in Melbourne recently.

The Director-General of Health is now requiring everyone who has visited the Greater Melbourne area since 20 May to isolate at their place of residence until they receive a negative COVID-19 test result. 

This is an additional cautious step. The number of locations of interest around Melbourne has grown substantially, making it difficult for visitors to easily keep track.

A Section 70 notice has been issued under the Health Act 1956 putting this in force. 

Read the Section 70 notice (external link).

Contract tracing

The Ministry of Health is in the process of contacting all those who have visited Melbourne since 20 May to inform them of the new restrictions.

The Ministry of Health has previously contacted everyone who has returned to New Zealand from Melbourne since 11 May and provided advice on checking locations of interest and the actions required.

Getting tested

In New Zealand the COVID-19 test is free for New Zealanders and visitors when testing is advised by a health professional.

Contact Healthline toll-free on 0800 358 5453 for advice.

Use the NZ COVID Tracer app

The situation in Melbourne reinforces the importance of continued and frequent use of the NZ COVID Tracer app in allowing health authorities to quickly trace contacts.

More information on the NZ COVID Tracer app.

Information about the variant

The variant of COVID-19 being found in Melbourne is the B.1.617.1 variant which was first reported in India.

It is considered more infectious than the original variant.

Symptoms to look out for

The typical symptoms to look out for include:

  • a new or worsening cough
  • fever (at least 38˚C)
  • shortness of breath
  • a sore throat
  • sneezing and runny nose
  • and temporary loss of smell.

Some people may present with atypical symptoms, with or without typical symptoms. These include new onset of:

  • fever
  • diarrhoea
  • headache
  • myalgia (muscle pain)
  • nausea/vomiting
  • confusion/irritability.