Australia and New Zealand’s new travel restrictions have now come into full force. Both countries will require every new arrival to self-isolate for 2 weeks (with the exception of the Pacific Islands for New Zealand).
Here are the latest COVID-19 updates as of this morning:
- Scott Morrison has said those who do not comply with the new self-isolation rules in Australia will face fines. The rules around fines will vary between states, but Morrison made it clear they are taking violation very seriously. “If your mate has been to Bali and they come back and they turn up at work and they are sitting next to you, they will be committing an offence,” he said.
- New Zealand’s self-isolation rules have also come into force, although the Government has not yet announced penalties as harsh as Australia. All travellers into New Zealand are being registered, and Healthline will be monitoring the self-isolation process.
- Jacinda Ardern said more large events are likely to be cancelled, after the Pasifika and Christchurch remembrance events were cancelled over the weekend.
- The New Zealand Reserve Bank has announced an emergency cash rate cut of three quarters of a percentage point, to mitigate the economic downturn from the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Air NZ is in a trading halt as it assesses the financial impact of the new global travel restrictions. It will be cutting its long haul flights by 85 percent from the end of March to the end of June.
- Morrison said schools will remain open in Australia. The Prime Minister said that closing them could prove counterintuitive as it could put pressure on health workers to stop working if they have to stay home and care for their children. “[Closing schools would] put at put at great risk the availability of critical workers such as nurses, doctors and others who are essential in the community”, he said. “The states and territories are not moving in that direction.”
- As of this morning, Zealand has eight confirmed cases of COVID-19 and no deaths.
- Australia has 300 cases and five deaths.