On the advice of medical experts, the Australian Government has extended the move to classify all flights originating in New Zealand as Red Zone flights for up to a further 72 hours. The Chief Medical Officer and the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) will continue to monitor the situation and provide revised guidance every 24 hours as further testing results become available.
All passengers on flights originating in New Zealand up until 12.01am (AEDT) on Sunday, 21 February, will need to go into 14 days of supervised hotel quarantine on arrival in Australia and adhere to the requirements of the State and Territory in which they enter.
This follows a meeting of the AHPPC today at which Green Zone flights from New Zealand to Australia were discussed.
Three new cases tested positive on 16 February 2021 bringing the total cases in the cluster to six. Time is required to complete the testing of contacts of the first three cases and contact tracing of the three new cases to determine if there is any spread in the community and the potential risk from people travelling quarantine free to Australia.
We appreciate that New Zealand is continuing its investigation. However, it remains a concern that the source of the infection in the community remains unknown; these cases have not travelled internationally nor have been in quarantine facilities.
A further 72 hour pause provides the time required to confirm this cluster remains contained.