New Zealand's plan for travel with Australia is looking shakier, and the immediate problem is not with our own border security.
While we have been consumed with fallout over quarantines, testing and tracing, the coronavirus threat has worsened in the world beyond our closed borders.
Cases are on the rise in the United States, parts of Europe, South America, Asia, and the Middle East as the world nears 10 million confirmed infections and 500,000 deaths from Covid-19. In one of the biggest outbreaks, India has now pushed past 500,000 cases.
The great fear is that the globe could already be paddling up a second Covid-19 wave. But more time is needed to see how trends develop.
On Friday, the US set a daily record for new cases of nearly 40,000. It then followed up with 45,000 on Saturday, according to one tally. The country's previous daily peak of 36,400 was two months ago.
US cases have risen by 43 per cent in a week. Infections are increasing across the South and West. The new increases appear linked to the re-opening of states several weeks ago. Texas and Florida have had to reimpose some controls.
Although death rates are yet to spike, Reuters reported that the virus could trigger diabetes and damage the brain. That would add to a long list of problems it can cause survivors.
Former CDC director Dr Tom Frieden summed up the US situation as: "A massive viral reservoir that will continue for a long time".
Legendary US news anchor Dan Rather tweeted that while he's often gone to where the story is: "This is one … I would be happier watching from New Zealand".
Our country and Australia were included, but the US was left off, a draft European Union list of countries whose people will be welcome to enter the bloc from July. Europe has mostly squashed the virus to low levels and ended lockdowns.
Yet the World Health Organisation said that weekly case numbers had increased in 30 countries in the agency's Europe region – which includes the Middle East and central Asia – for the first time in months. And France at the weekend reported its biggest increase since the end of May.
But it is an outbreak much closer to home that is of most concern to us.
Victoria's case numbers have risen close to 2000, including 30 and 41 reported on Friday and Saturday in the Australian state.
"We currently have 260 cases that indicate they are community transmission, we don't have a clear source for those cases. So that's an increase of 15 since yesterday," Deputy Health Officer Dr Annalise van Diemen said on Saturday.
Most of the state's cases have been in Melbourne and a testing blitz is underway. As with New Zealand, Australia is experiencing an influx of returnees.
Victoria, like here, has also had problems with people in quarantine refusing to take tests and is looking into whether it can force returned travellers to do so. Its refusal rate is about 30 per cent. In New South Wales, returned travellers who refuse to have the test on day 10 must stay an extra 10 days in quarantine. There the refusal rate is just 2 per cent.
It all suggests that much needs to be ironed out before we can consider risking wider, non-quarantine travel and with it, the threat of community virus spread.