All Perth to New Zealand flights have been grounded as officials wait to hear if Western Australia will go into full lockdown.
Meanwhile, there are four new MIQ cases – two from Qatar, one from Japan and one from Pakistan – but no new community cases in New Zealand today, the Ministry of Health says.
And it says 27 out of 397 passengers who arrived in New Zealand from Brisbane after an airport cafe “green-zone breach” are now self-isolating. The ministry has contacted all but two of the 397 people.
Perth to NZ flights cancelled
An Air NZ flight and a Singapore Airlines flight from Perth were both cancelled overnight, after revelations a security guard had tested positive at a Perth MIQ facility.
“As announced late last night, Western Australian health officials have advised a worker at a Perth managed isolation facility had tested positive for Covid-19, along with two of their housemates,” said the ministry.
“The Ministry of Health carried out a rapid public health assessment on the impact for New Zealand last night and, after working with airlines, all direct passenger flights from Perth to New Zealand were paused.”
The ministry said Western Australia health officials were meeting to decide whether they would implement further restrictions or a full lockdown.
“Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan said publicly yesterday that a full lockdown was not necessary at that stage because Perth had still been subject to earlier Covid-19 restrictions including mask wearing and social distancing during most of the worker’s infectious period. However, he said a lockdown could be enforced if the situation changed.
“Due to the time difference with Western Australia, further information is expected to be released about this later today.”
Brisbane Airport green zone breach update
The ministry says 397 passengers were aboard three flights which left Brisbane International Airport for New Zealand, after a green zone breach at an airport cafe on Thursday.
“All but two of those people have now been contacted and asked to check the Queensland Government website for locations of interest. Attempts to contact the remaining two are continuing today,” said the ministry.
So far, 27 had been in touch with Healthline to say they were in the locations of interest at the relevant time. “Those people are considered casual plus contacts and have been asked to self-isolate and get tested five days after their exposure.”
The remaining passengers who weren’t at the locations of interest are advised to monitor their health and if symptoms develop, call Healthline and get a test.
The risk from this event continues to be assessed as low.
Latest NZ cases
There are four new MIQ cases and no new community cases.
“There is also one new historical case to report. Historical cases are not considered to be infectious.”
The historical case is a person who arrived from Japan.
Four previously reported cases have recovered, meaning the total number of active cases in New Zealand today is 24.
The Ministry of Health is set to release new information on the number of Covid-19 cases in New Zealand.
The ministry is due to release a press statement after 1pm – this story will be updated as soon as it has.
Earlier today it was confirmed nine Customs workers had been sacked for refusing the Covid-19 vaccine, including four from a single provincial port.
Their contracts were terminated after Customs was unable to find a suitable alternative role for the workers.
It comes as more trouble hit the Tasman travel bubble overnight.
Flights from Western Australia to New Zealand were cancelled last night after a security guard in a Perth MIQ facility tested positive for Covid.
An Air New Zealand flight and a Singapore Airlines that were due to take off from Perth and land in Auckland this morning were cancelled, but there is still uncertainty over flights headed to Western Australia from New Zealand.
Air NZ flight NZ175 bound for Perth this morning has been delayed until 2.30pm but staff at the airport could not confirm to the Herald if the delay is because of a Perth MIQ worker testing positive. Qantas told the Herald it has no scheduled flights from Western Australia to New Zealand today, and all flights were operating as usual.
New Zealand’s Covid-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order came into force at 11.59pm on Friday, April 30, and requires all workers in managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) facilities and those who work for Government agencies at the border to be vaccinated.
Customs people and capability deputy chief executive Jacinda Funnell confirmed to Stuff that nine employees, including the four at the provincial port, had their contracts terminated because they were unvaccinated.
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