Australia on Thursday extended the suspension of quarantine free travel for New Zealanders for another 72 hours, an official said.
The decision comes in the wake of two more cases of a COVID-19 variant, first detected in South Africa, being confirmed in New Zealand.
The federal government has accepted the recommendation of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee and acting chief medical officer, Health Minister Greg Hunt said in a statement.
The temporary ban was first imposed on Jan. 25. This means New Zealanders entering Australia until at least Jan. 31 will have to undergo 14 days of mandatory hotel quarantine.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine and plans to start the immunization drive next month. The roll-out will begin with the elderly and disabled, and frontline workers.
The government has also initiated a $23.9 million public information campaign to encourage Australians to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
Australia has so far reported 28,786 coronavirus cases and 909 related deaths.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.