The Ministry of Health is actively monitoring the situation in Melbourne and remains in close contact with Australian health agencies.
Confirmation of four linked cases of COVID-19 in Melbourne’s northern suburbs was announced today by Victorian Health.
The Ministry is not recommending a pause on the Quarantine Free Travel arrangements with Victoria at this stage.
However, there will be testing and isolation requirements on people who have been in locations of interest in Melbourne, including those who have travelled back to New Zealand in recent days.
The Ministry’s current assessment is that the public health risk is appropriately managed through the actions taken by Victorian health authorities.
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.
The four community cases identified today have not yet been linked to a previous case in Melbourne reported on 11 May though this remains under investigation.
Victorian health authorities will provide further details in coming days.
As an additional precaution, the Ministry recommends anyone in New Zealand who has visited Melbourne since 11 May should monitor for symptoms and if any develop seek advice on testing from Healthline.
Two locations of interest have been announced by health officials in Victoria and more sites are expected to be announced as Australian officials continue their contact tracing investigations.
Information about locations of interest visited by the four cases will be provided on the Victoria Health website.
Anyone in New Zealand who has been at any of the locations of interest at the specified times should contact Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice on self-isolation and testing as soon as possible.
Individuals in Australia who were at a location of interest at the specified times cannot travel for 14 days after being at the location of interest and should follow Victoria health advice regarding isolation and testing.
The Ministry will remain in close contact with its Australian counterparts as the situation evolves.
Anyone planning to travel to Victoria should take into account that advice from health authorities could change at any time and be prepared for their travel plans to be disrupted.