Air NZ has cancelled passenger flights from Australia while quarantine-free travel is on hold for three days.

The Government has paused quarantine-free trans-Tasman travel for three days, as Australia is hit by multiple cases and outbreaks of a contagious new strain of coronavirus.
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The pause to the trans-Tasman bubble comes as Wellington waits to hear whether life will return to normal on Sunday evening. One expert says it will only be down to good luck if it does.
Air New Zealand has cancelled all inbound passenger flights from Australia for 72 hours due to the trans-Tasman travel pause.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins on Saturday night announced that all quarantine-free travel with Australia would pause from 10.30pm Saturday until 11.59pm Tuesday, June 29.
Covid-19 testing rates have dropped off at the Te Papa testing station as there have been no more cases reported in Wellington.
I acknowledge the frustration and inconvenience that comes with this pause, but given the high level of transmissibility of what appears to be the Delta variant, and the fact that there are now multiple community clusters, it is the right thing to do to keep Covid-19 out of New Zealand, he said.
Air NZ chief operational integrity and safety officer captain David Morgan confirmed a reduced number of passenger flights to Australia would still take-off over the next 72 hours, but all inbound flights from Australia had been cancelled. These flights would operate as cargo-only services.
We are in the process of contacting impacted customers, who are being provided the option to rebook, put their flight into credit, or receive a refund if they purchased a refundable ticket.
We appreciate our customers understanding and patience as our teams work to ensure they are kept up to date.
All Air New Zealand inbound passenger flights from Australia have been cancelled due to the trans-Tasman travel-bubble pause (file hpto).
Dr Michael Baker believes the visit of a Covid-infected Australian tourist to a Te Papa exhibition last weekend was the countrys most dangerous exposure event since the pandemic began.
Despite this, for the third day in a row since Wellington went into Alert Level 2, on Saturday the country recorded no new community cases.
The man had the highly transmissible Delta variant. He is linked to a growing Sydney cluster which has seen the New South Wales city lock down, with two weeks of restrictions for Greater Sydney announced on Saturday.
Modellers had previously warned of a Taiwan-style outbreak, should the Delta variant take hold in New Zealand.
The Wellington region has been in Alert Level 2 since 6pm on Wednesday, and on Sunday afternoon the government will announce if thats going to change. Cabinet will meet to assess the evidence and any risk before making the call.
Speaking on Friday, Baker said the events of last weekend, and the number of people attending the exhibition made for the potential perfect storm; one that would overwhelm New Zealands contact tracing system.
…We would have to go to level 3 or level 4 very rapidly to get ahead of this virus.The only thing standing between us and that shockingly poor outcome is whether that person is highly infectious or not.
A customer signs in on the Covid-19 app at Typo on Manners Street, as Wellington enters its third day of level 2.
While no community cases have so far been found, and people turned out in droves to testing stations, Baker said he was frustrated.
There are two areas of our response that are not fit for purpose theres no question about that. Voluntary scanning in very few New Zealanders are doing it, and weve known that for months. Technically the tracing app is a good tool, people just aren’t using it.
He wants scanning-in to high-risk indoor environments made mandatory like it is in Melbourne until the pandemic ends, and says its absurd we dont have mask use integrated into our level system.
Professor Michael Baker is frustrated by what he says is a Covid prevention system not fit for purpose.
We are mandating much tougher measures to deal with the pandemic weve had huge changes in all other aspects of our lives this is quite small in the scheme of things.
The virus was still being treated as though it spread by surfaces and droplets within a small range, despite it being spread by aerosol transmission.
If you’re indoors and something is transmitted by an aerosol, physical distancing doesn’t help you much. It’s like saying, if you’re in the room with a smoker, if you stand two metres away from them suddenly you don’t get their smoke any more.
There are multiple lessons from this.
It will only be good luck if we get through this.
Psychologist Dr Sarb Johal says even if Wellington manages to dodge the Covid-bullet this time, the close call might give people a bit of a nudge in the right direction.
One of the things we know is when the threat level goes up people’s behaviour changes, they start scanning in a bit more.
26062021 Photo: ROSS GIBLIN/STUFF
A mask wearing pedestrian crosses the road at the Cable St and Tory St intersection. Covid-19 testing rates have dropped off as there have been no more cases reported in Wellington. Wellington is now in Alert Level 2.
Another potential change is the event could sway people deciding whether to get the vaccine.
This came out of the blue and I think people will be starting to add this together and thinking were in a vulnerable position … why don’t we just do this and protect ourselves and our loved ones?
Microbiologist Dr Siouxsie Wiles says theres plenty to take away from the recent episode.
The lesson is the virus is still off our shores and with the travel bubble and the lives we are living there is the chance for a potentially massive exposure before we detect it.
Covid-19 testing in the Te Papa car park.
Like Baker, Wiles said New Zealanders need to be doing everything they can to keep the virus out of the community; especially by using the tracer app with Bluetooth switched on, and getting tested if they have any symptoms.
When it came to how lucky weve been this time, she said it was a waiting game.
We know the original variants of the virus follow this 80/20 rule.
Twenty per cent of cases results in 80 per cent of cases; that means 80 per cent of cases dont really result in any others.
So, is that one person who came one of the 80 or one of the 20? Thats what were facing at the moment.