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Victoria records no new local COVID-19 cases as New Zealand prepares to lift travel restrictions

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Victoria has reported no new locally acquired COVID-19 cases and two infections in hotel quarantine.

There are 51 active cases in the state as the earlier clusters that put Victoria into lockdown continue to fall away.

The state government will make a call later this week on the further easing of restrictions.

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The number of exposure sites has dropped below 100, to 96.

It comes as tourists and visitors from Victoria will be welcome back in New Zealand from Wednesday after the easing of government restrictions.

Jacinda Ardern’s government halted the trans-Tasman bubble last month in response to Melbourne’s latest COVID-19 outbreak.

With new community case numbers slowing to a trickle, the Ministry of Health has given the green light for travel to resume.

The Health Ministry’s statement says it is encouraged by a lack of new Delta variant cases, large testing numbers and wastewater sampling.

New Zealand’s move is perhaps surprising, given its ultra-cautious approach to first removing the quarantine requirement from trans-Tasman travellers.

New South Wales first scrapped quarantine for Kiwis in October last year.

It was not until six months later, in April this year, that New Zealand reciprocated.

In allowing regular travel, it is re-opening to Victoria ahead of all Australian states except for New South Wales.

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Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and Queensland all have varying degrees of restriction on Victorians heading across their borders.

Some restrictions still apply for would-be trans-Tasman travellers.

People who have visited a location of interest – where a potentially infected person has also travelled – in any state must not travel to New Zealand within 14 days of visiting that site.

The move means the trans-Tasman bubble is fully operational for the first time since 25 May.

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