News Coronavirus NSW, Victoria declare Auckland a COVID-19 hotspot
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NSW, Victoria declare Auckland a COVID-19 hotspot

auckland covid hotspot
New Zealand has no community cases of the virus for five days. Photo: Getty
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As NSW prepares to ease COVID-19 restrictions, people flying in from Auckland are being ushered into compulsory hotel quarantine.

NSW Health introduced the new order on Thursday after the New Zealand government reported three additional virus cases in Auckland on Wednesday.

Travellers who have arrived from NZ since Saturday are being contacted by health authorities to check if they have been to any new venues of concern attended by an infectious person.

They are also being asked to get tested for COVID-19 and isolate until they get a negative result, or for 14 days if they went to one of the venues.

A notice is in effect in NSW, specifying Auckland as a hotspot and arrivals from there have a choice between 14 days of hotel quarantine or returning to NZ.

The same applies in Victoria, which has classified Auckland as a “red zone” under its traffic light permit system.

Queensland closed its border to Kiwi arrivals on Wednesday night. It has similar requirements for quarantine and testing for anyone flying in from NZ.

Meanwhile, from Friday indoor gathering limits in NSW will rise to 50 people, caps at weddings will remain at 300 and up to 30 people will be permitted to dance at any one time.

There will be 50 people allowed in gym classes, while indoor choirs can number 30 and cinemas can operate at 100 per cent capacity.

Standing and drinking at an indoor bar will be permitted from March 17, if no further COVID-19 outbreaks occur before then.

NSW had its 38th straight day of no new local cases on Wednesday, with one case in hotel quarantine. It will report its data for Thursday later in the morning.

Victoria notched up a sixth consecutive virus-free day on Thursday, and also had no infections in returned travellers.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is expected to make an announcement about further easing virus rules in his state on Fridayl.

Elsewhere, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said more than 3200 people had received their first vaccine shot in the first two days of the NSW rollout.

Frontline health workers were the first to get the jab across three “vaccination hubs” in Sydney and received the Pfizer vaccine.

-with AAP