Flights between Perth and New Zealand will continue from tomorrow following a temporary pause as WA authorities dealt with yet another virus outbreak sparked in hotel quarantine.
A hold was put on direct flights yesterday in the wake of news a Pan Pacific Hotel quarantine security guard had tested positive to COVID-19 and that two of his housemates had also contracted the virus.
New Zealand officials concluded the risk to public health across the ditch was low after meeting with their Australian counterparts today.
“Following further assessment, the Ministry of Health is advising airlines that flights between Perth and New Zealand can resume as early as (Monday),” NZ’s Ministry of Health said this afternoon.
“This follows last night’s temporary pause in direct Perth-New Zealand bound flights while the Ministry was awaiting a further assessment from Western Australian officials.”
Anyone who has been to Perth since April 27 has been asked to check their movements against known exposure sites in WA.
Australians and Kiwis who have been at known trouble spots need to follow WA health advice regarding isolation and testing.
Some 750 passengers who flew between WA and New Zealand between April 27 and May 1 are being contacted today by NZ health authorities.
It comes as West Australians avoided another coronavirus lockdown despite a “massive” task awaiting contact tracers as they work through new information.
Premier Mark McGowan on Sunday confirmed no new locally acquired cases had been detected, 24 hours after a hotel quarantine security guard and two of his housemates tested positive.
Contact tracers are continuing to work through the movements of the three men but all 16 close contacts identified by WA Health as “high risk” have returned negative tests.
Results are pending for a further four close contacts, while another 136 contacts are deemed casual or yet to be classified.
The guard and his seven housemates were moved to hotel quarantine after he returned the positive result. Close contacts must also quarantine for 14 days.
It emerged on Sunday that one of the guard’s infected housemates had attended a cooking school on April 27 and 28 with about 20 other people at the Perth College of Business and Technology.
The other students are being contacted and advised to isolate until they have returned negative tests, along with other casual contacts.
Sunday’s AFL western derby between West Coast and Fremantle at Optus Stadium was played behind closed doors, with the risk of up to 45,000 spectators travelling to the stadium deemed too high.
Nightclubs will close for the next week and all Perth and Peel residents must wear masks indoors and outdoors.