New Zealand extends pause on travel bubble with Australia's Victoria state

Lockdown looms as Victoria stuffs up contract tracing again

"Unless something changes, this will be increasingly uncontrollable", Victoria Acting Premier James Merlino said.

He said Victoria might not be facing another lockdown had the federal government's vaccination rollout happened properly.

Hipkins said everything would be done to make sure those impacted by today's legal notification would be notified.

Five of the six new cases are linked to a finance firm in Port Melbourne where one infected person works.

The pause in New Zealand's quarantine-free travel with Victoria will be extended for another seven days amid a new outbreak in the Australian state, said New Zealand COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins.

Residents will be able to leave home for one of five reasons, food and supplies; authorised work; care and caregiving; exercise, for up to two hours and with one other person; and getting vaccinated.

"We are considering whether further restrictions should be put in place".

"The number of locations of interest being announced by Health Victoria is also continuing to rise and there are now 150 exposure sites across Melbourne".

Contact tracers continue to hunt a "missing link" in the infection chain, with the virus genomically linked to a man who caught it in Adelaide hotel quarantine.

There are now 23 active cases in the entire state, including people in hotel quarantine.

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A new stay-at-home order will be in place across the ACT for anyone who enters the Territory from Victoria after midnight tonight (27 May) and the border will be closed to non-residents unless they receive an exemption to enter the ACT.

This came after the state imposed a lockdown past year that lasted over 100 days, after another failure in the state's hotel quarantine system.

Others described accounts of a grandmother who was banned from visiting her first grandchild, a child who had stopped talking, people so depressed they can not leave their houses, a schoolchild so depressed they refused to eat, and a woman afraid that her son was a suicide risk.

Anyone who has travelled to NZ after being in the greater Melbourne area since the 20th was now required to be tested and isolate, Bloomfield said.

'Yesterday morning I left Melbourne at 3am, travelling up the Hume Highway ... so many cars loaded and heading to Sydney, ' he said.

"If the pause for any reason were to continue, then we would look to other options, whether or not we would provide emergency travel for those who needed to get back immediately".

The group of 5000-odd arrivals is spread around the country, which gives Hipkins confidence testing centres and laboratories will be able to keep up with the spike in demand.

Anyone who has been in the Whittlesea local government area since 11 May should also ring Healthline for advice, the ministry said.

The form is to check if border crossers have attended a venue of concern.

New Zealand has already suspended its travel bubble with Victoria and while residents are now being shut out of other Australian states, prompting major airlines to slash Melbourne services.

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