Air New Zealand has been forced to cancel flights to Melbourne for two weeks as the Australian Government fights the spread of Covid-19 within the local community.

The airline received a directive late last night that no international passengers are eligible to arrive into Melbourne from July 1 to July 14.

Air New Zealand was due to operate two return services to Melbourne today – NZ123, a cargo only flight, and NZ124 operating with inbound passengers to Auckland.

NZ127 and NZ128 today have also been cancelled.

Advertisement

Melbourne to Auckland passenger services will continue to operate.

The airline has advised customers affected who booked via a travel agent to speak with their agent.

Second wave

Air New Zealand's decision comes as lockdown restrictions have returned to the Australian state of Victoria.

The level 3 stay-at-home orders will come into force from 11.59pm on Wednesday after 64 new cases were announced in the Australian state today.

Residents of certain suburbs will only be allowed to leave their homes for four reasons.

These reasons include for work or school, for care or caregiving, for daily exercise, for food and other essentials.

"They are the acceptable reasons to leave but only if you need to. It is not an opportunity to go shoe shopping, it is not an opportunity to be taking daily exercise for the whole day," Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said.

Of the 64 cases, four previous cases have been reclassified due to duplications, bringing the total number of cases to 2159.

Advertisement

Of the new cases 13 have been linked to outbreaks, 20 have been identified through routine testing and 31 are under investigation.

It is hoped that the concentrated lockdown will help to control the outbreaks swiftly, so they don't spread further across Australia.