Heartbreaking moment one family are turned away from departure gates at Sydney Airport as they tried to head to New Zealand after country slams their border shut with New South Wales
- A family is stopped from leaving Australia after New Zealand halts travel bubble
- Kiwi officials put the breaks on Trans-Tasman travel for New South Wales
- Sydney Airport left empty as heartbroken family stopped at departure gates
- The pause came into effect at 10pm (AEST) last night and remains for 72 hours
There were heart-breaking scenes at Sydney’s International Airport on Wednesday as the departure gates were slammed shut after New Zealand closed its borders to New South Wales.
A picture showed one family leaving the airport with their belongings after failing to board their Air New Zealand flight.
Despite the pause one family were still hopeful to make their flight out of the country as they are seen waiting at the Air New Zealand check-in line before they were turned away.
New South Wales residents were left in shock after New Zealand’s COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins put the breaks on hotel quarantine-free travel after NSW recorded 10 new locally-acquired infections on Tuesday.
The total has since climbed to 13 cases since 8pm.
He said the decision was made because there are still ‘several unknowns’ about the growing outbreak.
The heart-broken family (pictured) leaving Sydney Airport’s as New Zealand shuts its travel bubble to New South Wales residents
The family (pictured) linger at the check-in gates as they are turned away from their Air New Zealand flight
He said: ‘As with previous pauses, it will be under constant review.’
The decision had been made after revelations several infections in Sydney were unlinked to the Bondi outbreak.
This includes a case that was infectious while in the Sydney community and a primary school age child.
On Tuesday, three more exposure sites were also added to the extensive list, including Italian restaurant Totti’s Bondi, The Roya Bondi and Woolworths at Spring Farm.
Kiwi health authorities also urged anyone in New Zealand that has been to Westfield’s Bondi Junction – including the car park – between June 12-18 to immediately get tested and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.
The New Zealand government on Thursday will revaluate the decision.
The tough news for NSW holidaymakers comes on the same day New Zealand is set to reinstate quarantine-free travel with Victoria, after the state experienced its fourth lockdown since the pandemic began.
Airport check-in kiosks are left unattended as New Zealand shuts its border to New South Wales residents for 72 hours after Sydney covid cluster
Pictured: Departure gates for Air New Zealand flights remain empty as passengers are not allowed to enter the country
NEW EXPOSURE SITES IN SYDNEY
Call NSW Health immediately, gest tested and isolate regardless of the result:
QF163 (Qantas) – June 18 from Sydney to Wellington, NZ
NZ247 (Air New Zealand) – June 21 from Wellington, NZ to Sydney
Bondi: Totti’s Bondi – Saturday June 19, 5pm – 6.30pm
Mascot: Wallabies Thai Restaurant – Saturday June 19, 11.30am – 12pm (anyone who dined outside)
Bondi Junction: Chanel fragrance and beauty – Friday June 18, 12pm – 12.25pm
Sydney: ANZ Martin Place – Thursday June 17, 11.45am – 3.15pm (anyone on level 2)
Get tested and isolate until a negative test is received:
Bondi: The Royal Bondi – Saturday June 19, 5pm – 6.30pm
Spring Farm: Woolworths – Sunday June 20, 9.30am – 10am
Mascot: Wallabies Thai Restaurant – Saturday June 19, 11.30am – 12pm (anyone who dined inside)
Bondi Junction: Starbucks – Friday June 18, 11am – 12pm
Sydney: ANZ Martin Place – Thursday June 17, 11.45am – 3.15pm (anyone on ground and level 1)
Mascot Central Shopping Precinct – Anytime between Friday June 18 and Tuesday June 22
The travel bubble between Victoria and the land of the long white cloud is set to re-established at 11.59pm on Tuesday.
Of the 10 new infections announced in NSW today, one of them remains a mystery.
A student at Saint Charles’ Primary School in Waverley, Sydney’s east, returned a positive result but contact tracers are still scrambling to find out where she may have contracted the virus.
The current outbreak hitting Sydney is particularly hard to trace because it is the highly infectious Delta variant which originated in India.
‘Literally people not even physically touching each other but fleetingly coming into the same airspace has seen the virus transfer from one person to another,’ Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
‘That’s how contagious it is.’
There has been close liaison between the health agencies of NSW and New Zealand. Pictured: NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (left) and NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (right)
New Zealand have pulled up the draw bridge to Western Australia and Victoria on one occasion and slammed the door shut on NSW twice since the Trans-Tasman travel bubble came into effect on April 19. Pictured: Departure passengers to New Zealand wait to check in at Sydney International Airport, Sydney, Monday, April 19
Since Australian and New Zealand trans-Tasman travel bubble came into effect on April 19, there have been numerous occasions where it has been halted due to outbreaks.
New Zealand have pulled up the draw bridge to Western Australia and Victoria on one occasion and slammed the door shut on NSW twice.
At the time of the announcement New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warned that the rules could be subject to rapid change if an outbreak occurs in either country.
‘Those undertaking travel on either side of the ditch will do so under the guidance of flyer beware,’ Ms Ardern said.
‘People will need to plan for the possibility of travel being disrupted if there is an outbreak.’