New Zealand pauses travel bubble with Western Australia after virus case

Darnell Taylor
April 26, 2021

Local authorities are still searching for and waiting to clear more than 270 people who were close and casual contacts of Perth Covid-19 patients.

According to Premier McGowan, whether a crowd is allowed to watch the Derby in person hinges on the success of the three-day lockdown.

"In many cases, these facilities are not close to health and intensive care services". "They remain in isolation until their test results come back".

"People should get used to the prospect that some further measures will continue past Monday", Mr McGowan told reporters today.

"We'll advise the Commonwealth that we will not go back up to over 1000 per week because our system is put at too much risk when that occurs", the Premier said. "Most importantly we need close contacts and casual contacts, that is anyone who has visited the exposure locations during the specific times, to be tested".

NSW authorities on Sunday said they would investigate how a family of three quarantined in a different Sydney hotel returned positive tests with the same virus sequence as a non-related family of four quarantined in the same building.

Despite the state's lockdown, the Fremantle-North clash, scheduled for 8:15 pm AEST at Optus Stadium on Saturday, will be allowed to go ahead due to a special exemption.

"It all depends on the circumstances. What they are exactly at this point in time we don't have, but we'll work them out over the coming 24 hours".

While Perth is in lockdown, travel between New Zealand and Western Australia remains on hold.

A second locally acquired case linked to the Mercure outbreak was announced yesterday - a man in his 40s who dined at the same restaurant as two confirmed cases.

The state's travellers from a quarantine-free bubble between the two countries have been excluded.

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Today, Landsdale Early Learning and Enrichment Chidcare was added to the alert list, after the man diagnosed yesterday did drop-offs and pick-ups at the centre between Wednesday and Friday.

Fremantle's Round Six clash against North Melbourne at Optus Stadium will be played behind closed doors after an outbreak in Perth's hotel quarantine system.

The Victorian man had been staying in a room adjacent to the couple from India.

Two people have since tested positive and a third travelled to Melbourne.

After the travel bubble was announced, a spokesman for Australian flag carrier Qantas said tickets to New Zealand were "selling like hot cakes" with a strong "load" to Queenstown, which is billed as the country's "Adventure capital".

WA Premier Mark McGowan wants the federal government to open military bases and Christmas Island to quarantine overseas travellers.

But Christmas Island was used in March and April previous year for people returning from China and Japan.

The Mercure will soon no longer accommodate returned travellers and the government will review the continued use of the other high-risk hotels.

Mark McGowan has previously taken aim at the Commonwealth over the issue, saying it had abrogated its responsibility to take care of quarantine, leaving the states to bear the burden, including the cost.

The head of the doctors' union in Western Australia has also slammed state and federal governments for persisting with "faulty" hotel quarantine.

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