Auckland airport virus case not enough to burst bubble

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 21 Apr 2021

New Zealand authorities revealed an Auckland airport worker tested positive for Covid-19 yesterday, although Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it would not affect the country's travel bubble with Australia.

Confirmation the cleaner contracted the virus came barely 24 hours after the transport hub hosted joyful scenes as families reunited following the launch of the quarantine-free bubble.

Ardern said the cleaner worked on planes arriving from "red zone" countries deemed high risk, not Australia, which like New Zealand has largely contained the virus.

She said both Australia and New Zealand expected to handle border cases.

"We accept there will be cases and that is part of our journey together, for both sides," she said.

Ardern played down concerns the cleaner contracted the virus despite being fully vaccinated. "We entirely expect that people who are vaccinated will get Covid-19, it just means they won't get sick and they won't die," she said.

In Australia, Health Minister Greg Hunt said the government had "full confidence" in New Zealand's ability to contain small outbreaks of Covid-19.

The bubble has allowed the neighbors' borders to reopen to each other after almost 400 days.

It means that for the first time since Covid-19 closed borders worldwide, passengers can fly between Australia and New Zealand without undergoing quarantine on arrival.



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