By Stuart Marsh9News Staff 12:41pm Jan 25, 2021

Australia has suspended travel with New Zealand for at least 72 hours.Health Minister Greg Hunt said the government made the decision following advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC).Acting Chief Medical Officer Professor Michael Kidd said the decision was made after a case was detected in a woman who had left hotel quarantine in New Zealand on January 13.

Qantas jet lands.
Australia has suspended all travel with New Zealand for at least 72 hours. (Getty)

“That person was tested last Friday, January 22, and returned a positive COVID-19 test result late on Saturday, January 23rd. The infected person visited at least 30,” Professor Kidd said.Anyone who has arrived in Australia from New Zealand since January 14 must get tested and isolate.The woman is confirmed to have the South African variant of coronavirus.New Zealand health authorities said she likely picked it up in hotel quarantine.The 56-year-old woman tested positive yesterday after staying in managed isolation at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland.Genomic sequencing has confirmed the strain of the virus is linked to South Africa, and it considered to be more transmissible than the original COVID-19 strain.

READ MORE:Nation’s first virus cases in months visited 30 venues

Auckland’s Pullman Hotel, where it is suspected the woman contracted the strain. (Google Maps)

The woman travelled to New Zealand via London and Singapore after travelling around Spain and the Netherlands last year.She returned two negative tests while staying at the hotel, but then returned a positive result days after leaving.It’s likely she contracted the strain from another overseas traveller currently in managed isolation.

READ MORE:Two killed, three children injured in New Zealand chopper crash

New Zealand health authorities are contact tracing almost 30 venues visited by the woman.
New Zealand health authorities are contact tracing almost 30 venues visited by the woman. (NZ MINISTRY OF HEALTH)

As many as 15 people who work in retail settings will now self-isolate after New Zealand’s COVID Tracer app identified them as close contacts.”As part of the investigative process carried out by the public health unit, the person was able to provide thorough details on where they had been since departing managed isolation,” health authorities said.”Four close contacts are being tested and are required to isolate for a full 14 days since their last exposure.”READ MORE:NZ agrees in principle to travel bubble with Australia in 2021

A nurse tests members of the public at the Eden Park testing in Auckland. (Getty)

“The person visited a number of places in the Northland region on departing managed isolation and went to around 30 locations,” authorities warned.

New Zealand records first local coronavirus case for two months”Importantly the person has been vigilant in using the COVID Tracer app since leaving MIF and we have been able to rapidly identify these locations and are in the process of notifying them.”